BSP GOVERNOR  BUENAVENTURA  BAGS 'MANAGEMENT MAN OF THE YEAR' AWARD

MANILA, November 24, 2004 (STAR) By Des Ferriols - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Rafael Buenaventura has been named "Management Man of the Year" for 2004 by the Management Association of the Philippines.

The MAP said it selected Buenaventura as this year’s awardee on the basis of his record as an international banker covering a span of 24 years, rising from the ranks to become the top Filipino executive at Citibank.

In a letter, MAP president David Balangue informed Buenaventura that he was being awarded as Management Man of the Year, an award that has been won by only two other central bank governors: Jose B. Fernandez Jr. (1989) and Gabriel Singson (1998).

According to Balangue, the MAP wants to recognize Buenaventura for his success as a private banker and as a central banker in the midst of political pressure that often threatened to compromise the independence of the BSP.

"This award is for his courage, professionalism and ability to transcend politics amid overwhelming pressure and to constantly assert the independence of the BSP and for consistently preserving the BSP’s integrity as an institution unencumbered by political bias," the MAP said.

Buenaventura was also selected for steering PCI Bank to become one of the country’s most profitable universal banks until the end of his term as bank president in 1999, right before he was appointed as BSP governor.

Although Buenaventura has received several awards from international groups, getting a Grade A mark for two years in a row among the world’s central bankers, he has never won a local award.

"It’s my first," Buenaventura said. "It’s always good to be recognized by your peers in your hometown."

Buenaventura was appointed as BSP governor in July 1998 for a full six-year term by former President Joseph Estrada. When then vice President Gloria Arroyo took over, he faced mounting pressure to resign by the new administration.

But since the BSP is mandated as an independent institution from the executive, Buenaventura opted to stay in order to avoid compromising the BSP’s status in the international financial community.

Buenaventura’s older brother, Cesar B. Buenaventura, was also a winner of the MAP award in 1985. The elder Buenaventura is the first Filipino to ever become president of Shell Philippines.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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