BSP Expands its Research Base and Capabilities

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is enhancing its research partnership with partner institutions in order to better monetary policies, particularly in the event of a pandemic and in the post-COVID-19 era, often known as the “New Economy”.

Governor Benjamin E. Diokno of the BSP announced that so far this year, the BSP has signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with strategic research partners. The Philippine Center for Economic Development, the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), and the Philippine-American Educational Foundation have all signed memorandums of understanding. They’re also about to sign MOUs with other colleges, including the University of the Philippines.

The BSP Research Academy, or BRAc, was also established recently, with an agenda that includes central bank policy framework and operations, structural changes and central bank policies, regulations and market structures, new technologies and implications for the future of central banking, the financial system and macroeconomy, and financial inclusion and central banking. Other emergent challenges, such as COVID-19’s implications on employment and income distribution, will be investigated by the research group.

According to Diokno, the BSP has a joint study project on the monetary and fiscal implications of the pandemic with the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, or PIDS, through the BRAc.

The BRAc is also in talks with ACPC about three other research initiatives. The Annual Countryside Survey (to validate trends in agricultural and rural lending); the creation of a credit scoring model for small farmers and fisherfolks; and financial inclusion of farmers and fisherfolks in unbanked areas are among these initiatives.        

The BSP sponsored its first “BSP International Research Fair” last month, which featured ten research papers on the topic of “Central Banking at the Time of Pandemic”.

The talks, according to Diokno, addressed research findings on the pandemic’s impact and measures to prepare for the post-pandemic economy.

The BSP has an approaching International Research Conference this year, which happens every two years, but owing to the pandemic, the 2020 event has been pushed back to September 27-29 this year.

The BSP will co-host the three-day event as a virtual BSP conference with the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee, with the topic “Shifting Gears, Changing Lanes: Central Banking in a Post-COVID Economic World,” according to Diokno. Twelve central banks, as well as academics, corporate entities, and international organizations such as the Bank for International Settlements and the Asian Development Bank, will present at the conference.

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