Ralph Recto named as new Finance secretary 

Ralph Recto named as new Finance secretary 
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto filed a resolution seeking legal mechanisms against deep fakes to strengthen the government’s “implementation of cybercrime and data privacy laws, safeguarding the privacy, information and identity of all Filipinos and protecting the integrity of Philippine social, political, economic and financial institutions.”
The STAR / Geremy Pintolo, File

MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto has been named as the new secretary of the Department of Finance, according to lawmakers.

In a statement, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said that he welcomes Recto’s appointment as the new Finance chief, remarking that Recto was known in the Senate as the “resident numbers genius.”

"More than most, he understands how to bridge the gap between the abstractions of mathematics and the very concrete realities that we face as a nation," Zubiri said.

House ways and means chairperson and Recto’s colleague in the lower chamber, Rep. Joey Salceda (Albay, 3rd District), also said in an earlier statement that Recto’s appointment was “likely.”  

Salceda said Recto will bring to his new role “a wealth of experience in economic legislation and deep and longstanding relationships with members of Congress.”

The lawmaker added that Recto’s background as a tax reformer and a senator who chaired the Senate Ways and Means panel will aid toward “meaningful reforms to address cost of living, create employment, and expand our fiscal space.”

Recto is replacing outgoing Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Diokno was handpicked as Marcos' fiscal chief in May 2022 and before that had served as governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas from 2019 to 2022.

In September 2023, Diokno admitted to reporters that the president did not consult his economic managers before implementing a controversial price ceiling on rice, saying that he was “shocked” by the executive order implementing the measure when it came out. 

Diokno said that while price ceilings don’t work in “ideal market conditions,” the presence of price manipulators like smugglers and hoarders led to the president’s decision.  

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