BSP: BACOLOD AMONG PH ‘MOST ACTIVE GROWTH CORRIDORS’
MAYOR Evelio Leonardia and officials of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) break ground and lay down the time capsule for the construction of the BSP Bacolod branch at the Reclamation Area in Bacolod City on Jan. 9, 2019. (PIO)
“Bacolod City has consistently seen vigorous economic expansion, expanding infrastructure development, and a high influx of investments. Indeed, it is among the most active growth corridors in the country.”
This was the statement of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Nelson Espenilla Jr. in explaining their reason in opening a BSP branch building at the Reclamation Area.
The BSP governor said that to further calibrate and enrich the growth of Bacolod, it is crucial for the BSP to keep in step with the demand for central banking services in the region.
Espenilla’s message was read by Monetary Board member Felipe Medalla at the ground-breaking and time capsule-laying ceremony for its BSP branch building at the Reclamation Area Wednesday [Jan. 9] that was also attended by Mayor Evelio Leonardia as a special guest.
Leonardia said, “If the Bangko Sentral is expanding its operation in Bacolod, then there must be something here. Thank you so much for assuring us and we are flattered by your confidence.”
"This is quite awesome for us here in Bacolod to have the Monetary Board transplanted in Bacolod City, finally. We find this very meaningful and significant that we are doing the ground- breaking and time capsule-laying ceremony for the Bangko Sentral branch at a time when Bacolod is moving forward and is celebrating its 80th year as a city,” Leonardia added.
The mayor informed the BSP officials and guests that business permits registration in Bacolod in 2018 had reached an all-time high of 23,187, which is 23.2 percent higher, or an increase of 4,370, in 2015 at the time of the previous administration.
Bacolod also received awards as one of the most business-friendly cities in the country in 2017 and 2018, from Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In 2018, the National Competitiveness Council also recognized Bacolod as the 3rd most improved highly urbanized city in the country, ranking 8th as the most competitive city in the country, and 1st in the Visayas.
Moreover, the mayor said the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) opened its Bacolod Extension Office last November. It is the only SEC office created through legislation, and Leonardia authored the bill when he was congressman.
The SEC Bacolod Extension Office also impacted on our business environment, he added.
“Altogether, having the Bangko Sentral into the picture now, I believe it has completed the picture in Bacolod and that is how welcome you are. Thank you so much for being here, for us we have that sense of assurance that there must be something here in Bacolod,” he said.
“Together with the people of Bacolod and all these dynamic people who are making Bacolod grow by leaps and bounds, we welcome you and we hope to see that Bacolod will even grow faster because you’re here, so if you grow, we grow and let us grow together,” the mayor added.
In October 2018, the Monetary Board approved construction of a new-generation BSP Bacolod branch building at a 5,000-square meter property in the “heart of the city” to facilitate the branch’s relocation from its present site at the corner of Lacson and Luzurriaga streets, which has been in operation for over 30 years.
He said the BSP looks forward to sustaining its support for the city’s mission: “to endeavor to build, strengthen, and enhance Bacolod’s economic fundamentals, infrastructure, social services, human resources and public governance.”
The ground-breaking ceremony for the BSP Bacolod branch was also attended by Monetary Board members Juan De Zuñiga Jr., Peter Favila, Antonio Abacan Jr., and V. Bruce Tolentino; BSP officer-in-charge and governor's alternate Diwa Guinigundo, deputy governor Chuchi Fonacier, senior assistant governor Dahlia Luna, senior assistant governor and general counsel Elmore Capule, managing directors Prudence Angelita Kasala and Eduardo Bobier, and BSP Bacolod deputy director Joanne Marie Castelo.
Leonardia said the BSP Monetary Board is holding a meeting in Bacolod Thursday [Jan. 10] and this is the first time that they will hold a meeting here.