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Economy

Philippines loses its shock absorber

Uncertainty for investors as respected central bank chief steps down

| Philippines
The departure of the Philippines' central bank governor Amando Tetangco will test investors' patience with President Rodrigo Duterte's policies. (Photo by Keiichiro Asahara)

Throughout the first year of Rodrigo Duterte's reign in the Philippines -- the extrajudicial killings, policy chaos, verbal barbs at world leaders, rape jokes, authoritarian impulses -- one man stood firm against investors fleeing.

That man, Amando Tetangco, has run Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the most respected institution in Southeast Asia's third-biggest economy, since 2005 with great distinction. Neither coup plots, nor the jailing of past presidents nor Duterte's exploits precipitated a violent run on the peso. It is down, but not crashing. For that, Gov. Tetangco gets considerable credit. His steady hand kept an economy he often calls "event rich" from veering off the road to greater prosperity for 100 million Filipinos. But in some 20 days, this human guardrail of a policy maker is retiring.

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