Amando Te­tangco Jr., Out­go­ing Gov­er­nor of the Bangko Sen­tral ng Pilip­inas.

Money is not an end in it­self. It is only a means to achieve a goal. You don’t work for money—in­stead, you must make money work for you. Do­ing what needs to be done sounds sim­ple, but of­ten­times, the

sim­ple things are the most dif­fi­cult to do, be­cause they are the things we don’t want to do, or be­cause we have to give some­thing up. In prac­tice, you should al­ways give your­self slack. Don’t fill your cal­en­dar with ap­point­ments, ar­rive a few min­utes ahead, read up be­fore a meet­ing, come pre­pared, sleep enough. I’ve learned that when I prac­tice these, I have a clear mind when I make de­ci­sions and I’m bet­ter able to see the risks, and to re­act more point­edly.

There is no sub­sti­tute for the love of your fam­ily. At the end of the day, it’s your fam­ily that mat­ters. The fact that man could walk on the moon meant to me that there was more to this world than what we see and feel. It sig­naled to me that there must be a Be­ing greater than us—what we see is but a frac­tion of what re­ally is.

I be­lieve you have to work hon­estly for your keep. Even that long putt is the prod­uct of a con­flu­ence of many things—in­clud­ing hav­ing read the green cor­rectly, hav­ing ap­plied the right amount of speed to your stroke.

When I play golf, I like to use con­ven­tional equip­ment. There’s more ex­cite­ment to hit­ting the ball cor­rectly, and mak­ing the good shots this way. When things don’t go my way, I try to think that maybe there is some­thing bet­ter for me—I am be­ing saved or pro­tected from some­thing, or bet­ter yet, I am mak­ing way for some­one else. The best thing I’ve ever done with money is to spend on my chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion. I think this is the best in­vest­ment a par­ent can make.

When I make a de­ci­sion, I try to con­sider all pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios. But I also know that with my hu­man mind, I can’t ex­haust all op­tions. So I try to make the best out of a given sit­u­a­tion or the in­for­ma­tion I have. And then that’s that. Some­times, ev­ery­body just needs a good dose of hu­mil­ity.

The cen­tral bank­ing com­mu­nity is a small one, and it’s very heart­en­ing to know that you aren’t alone in fac­ing the same pres­sures and chal­lenges. The best thing about my job is know­ing that I help to con­trib­ute to the wel­fare of Filipinos.

Only 43 per­cent of Filipino adults have sav­ings. Of these, 68 per­cent keep their sav­ings at home—only 33 per­cent save in banks. We have to im­prove on this. There is a great deal of work that needs to be done on the fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy side. Sur­vey af­ter sur­vey would find that the level of fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy [among Filipinos] is rel­a­tively low. It’s im­por­tant to have a good grasp of both eco­nomic the­ory and reallife mar­ket prac­tice. Af­ter all, pol­icy should not be made in a vac­uum.

My suc­ces­sor needs to know pa­tience—and prac­tice it. Some of the re­sults we want to see take a long ges­ta­tion pe­riod. Re­form takes time be­cause a change in mind­set is never im­me­di­ate. If you are not pa­tient, you may be chas­ing af­ter the mar­ket, not re­al­iz­ing that it is bet­ter left on its own, to cor­rect it­self. Ev­ery so of­ten, it’s good for the mar­ket to get caught in its own fol­lies. The world has be­come such where tra­di­tional brick-and-mor­tar is

no longer the ab­so­lute norm. There is so much in­for­ma­tion, that it is at times dif­fi­cult to fil­ter. There’s a need to have the right in­for­ma­tion on which to base your de­ci­sions.

I am al­ways op­ti­mistic. I see good things in the fu­ture of the Philippines—growth sta­bi­liz­ing in the six- to eight-per­cent over the next few years be­fore reach­ing more nor­mal three- to four-per­cent growth; in­fla­tion sta­ble and within the na­tional govern­ment tar­get range; more in­ter­nally-gen­er­ated jobs, which means less need to work abroad.

To be at the top of your game, you need prepa­ra­tion. In the case of a cen­tral bank gov­er­nor, this in­cludes sharp sur­veil­lance and be­ing mind­ful of the tools you have at hand—be­ing ag­ile, and at the same time, flex­i­ble and nim­ble. A study in con­trasts, if you must: firm but flex­i­ble, a big-pic­ture anal­y­sis that’s also de­tailed. I’ve been through a num­ber of crises in my ca­reer in the cen­tral

bank. When­ever there is a cri­sis, you have to spend more time in the of­fice, look­ing at po­ten­tial stress ar­eas, try­ing to iden­tify stress sce­nar­ios and what needs to be done. But I al­ways make sure that when I leave the of­fice, I switch off. I don’t think about work.

Be­ing at the top should not be a sin­gle-point goal. What’s more im­por­tant is that once you reach the top, you per­se­vere. You must re­main con­sis­tent. Lead­er­ship is pro­vid­ing direc­tion and guid­ance to a group whom

you have con­vinced that this is the way to go. It’s im­por­tant for a leader to be able to per­suade oth­ers, in terms of what needs to be done, how it should be done, and when it should be done.

Many be­gin with a bang, but end with a whim­per. In a po­si­tion like that of BSP Gov­er­nor, where there is a fixed term or a set limit to how long one can serve, fin­ish­ing well is just as im­por­tant as start­ing and reach­ing the top.

Suc­cess is achieved when one is happy. And what is hap­pi­ness? I bor­rowed from Alexan­der Chalmers, a Bri­tish au­thor from a cou­ple of cen­turies ago, who said that hap­pi­ness has three es­sen­tial com­po­nents: some­thing to do, some­one to love—in my case, my wife and my fam­ily and friends of course—and some­thing to hope for. I think in all of these, per­son­ally, I’ve been quite happy with the re­sults. I hope it can be said that un­der my watch, the BSP was able to ful­fill its man­date, and has helped im­prove the lives of Filipinos.

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