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Ghost Staff Scandal hits Philippine Central Bank

by Violet Dawson
0 comment

The financial institution, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) confirmed and acted on the news of “ghost employees” who got big and hefty paychecks without being employed at the central bank of the Philippines. 

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is currently struggling with unprecedented issues involving a ghost employees scandal. The ghost employees pose a threat to the central Bank threatening to shake up its credibility and operational stability. The scandal is particularly highlighted, at the time of critical policy making amidst the soaring inflammation and weak currency. This jeopardizes the institution’s long repute of professionalism in the Philippine financial system. 

A ghost employee is one who receives salaries even though they have not been employed. It could also be the case of the employee’s death who was not removed from the payroll by accident. But in most cases it is done on purpose to commit the fraud. 

The financial institution, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) confirmed and acted on the news of “ghost employees” who got big and hefty paychecks without being employed at the central bank of the Philippines. 

Like most ghosts that want their presence to be felt, the ghost employees at the central bank were also also discovered as one of them wanted their presence to be felt or rather made their presence felt. In 2023, one of the ghost employees boasted in a group chat about how they receive salaries from BSP for doing nothing. 

Some of them in the group chat were government officials. They were surprised to have known that such a thing was possible and existing in a respectable institution like BSP that is known for their professionalism. It was hard to believe the matter was true but if it was, then that made them feel it was unfair that one would get hefty paychecks and bonuses for doing nothing while others were sweating it out.

Ever since, there have been hushed rumors circulating within the central bank about the existence of ghostly BSP personnel. BSP authorities got wind of the rumors, prompting its legal department to launch an internal investigation into the matter. However, because it implicated members of the Monetary Board, the BSP’s highest policy-making body, it sort of put investigators in a jam.

The General Council had examined the incident as early as in October 2023, said BSP. They received information that two members of its rate-setting panel have under their payrolls individuals who were not working for the central bank. The members have not been reporting to work for long periods of time but were receiving their salaries every month. 

The office of the General Council however received the initial report in December 2023. Report was regarding the details of the investigation and instruction for the investigating team to conduct an in-depth inquiry. Towards the end of January 2024, the investigating team presented the final investigating report where four employees and their two immediate supervisors were identified. From late February to early March 2024, four of the employees and one direct supervisor implicated in the report tendered their resignation. 

The incident raises questions about the credibility of the central bank and its policy-making body, which is in charge of monetary policy supervision and financial system oversight. It is also reflected in reporting from the local media. This problem arises when the currency in Southeast Asia is getting close to historic lows, the region is dealing with its highest borrowing costs in 17 years, and inflationary pressures are still present.

In order to make amends for the fraudulent activities, the BSP plans on removing the ghost employees from their payroll and returning the salaries received over years. However, the two officials claim that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is ultimately responsible for the fate of the two policy board members. Under the new act of the Central Bank, it allows the President to dismiss any Monetary Board member for various actions, including fraud or anything that does not align to BSP’s interest.

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