Economics alumnus helps guide monetary policies for the Philippines

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Lisa M Shirota, (808) 956-7352
Communications Director, Social Sciences, Dean's Office
Posted: Mar 15, 2019

Victor Bruce J. Tolentino, Credit: Jason Arlan P. Raval - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Archives
Victor Bruce J. Tolentino, Credit: Jason Arlan P. Raval - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Archives

As a member of the Monetary Board of Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP), University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa alumnus Victor Bruce J. Tolentino serves as a key resource in agriculture-related and food security issues. The board is the policy-making arm of BSP, the Philippines central bank that maintains price stability and a strong financial system for the nation.

Prior to joining the Monetary Board, Tolentino, who earned his doctorate from the economics department in the UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences, served as deputy director general for communication and partnerships at the nonprofit International Rice Research Institute, the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science.

“Tolentino’s expertise in economics and food security are a great benefit to the people of the Philippines. Throughout his career, he has explored the conditions and challenges facing individuals around the world, and provided guidance on economic development and policy reform to many areas. He is a true global leader and an inspiration to our students,” said Denise Eby Konan, dean of the College of Social Sciences.

Tolentino has served in a variety of positions throughout his career. Highlights include: The Asia Foundation’s chief economist and director of Economic Reform and Development, and later the country representative for Kabul, Afghanistan; consultant with Asian Development Bank; programme coordinator/Somalia Rehabilitation Programme then deputy programme manager/Cambodia Relief and Rehabilitation Programme of the United Nations Development Programme; deputy minister of policy, planning and international trade in the Ministry of Agriculture for the Philippines; and East-West Center Fellow.

He earned a master of science from the University of the Philippines School of Economics; a master of arts in Economics from Xavier University; and a master of science and Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan.

The mission of the Department of Economics in the UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences is to discover, refine, and disseminate economic knowledge, with emphasis on policy issues involving Hawai‘i and the Asia-Pacific region. Faculty members perform economic research, foster sound reasoning and decision-making through teaching, prepare students for careers, and provide service to the university, the state of Hawai‘i, the nation and the world. The department offers an undergraduate curriculum featuring student mentoring, free introductory course tutoring, a student-run club, internships, co-op work arrangements, study abroad programs, an Honors program, and research opportunities with faculty.

Photo courtesy of Jason Arlan P. Raval - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Archives [CC BY-SA 4.0]