House Deputy Secretary Ralph Recto was appointed as the new Department of Finance Secretary, Malacañang announced on Thursday, January 11.
Ralph Recto, aged 60, is set to succeed Benjamin Diokno as the finance secretary, who has held the position since Marcos assumed office in June 2022. There has been no immediate response from the president’s office or Diokno regarding the confirmation of this change.
The oath-taking ceremony for Recto will be conducted by Marcos on Friday, January 12, as communicated by Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil in a statement addressed to Palace reporters.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri expressed his approval of Recto’s appointment as the new Finance chief in a statement, noting that Recto had earned the moniker of the “resident numbers genius” during his time in the Senate.
“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.
Vilma Santos-Recto, the wife of Recto, informed the Philippine tabloid Abante in a separate statement that he will be sworn in on Friday.
“He was given the trust because he’s such a good economist,” Santos stated.
Ralph Recto is set to step down from his roles as the congressman of Batangas 6th District and, subsequently, as one of the Deputy Speakers at the House of Representatives. His political career includes three terms in the Senate, where he held positions such as Senate President Pro Tempore and Senate Minority Leader.
Recto obtained his bachelor’s degree in commerce with a major in Business Management from De La Salle University-Manila. He furthered his education by earning a master’s degree in strategic business economics from the University of Asia and the Pacific, and another master’s degree in public administration from the University of the Philippines.
Additionally, he completed a leadership course at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Aside from Recto, Frederick Go is also scheduled to take his oath before Marcos, assuming the role of Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs, according to Garafil.
Meanwhile, Diokno was selected as Marcos’ finance chief in May 2022, having previously held the position of governor at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas from 2019 to 2022.
In September 2023, Diokno confessed to reporters that the president had not consulted with his economic advisers before enacting a contentious price ceiling on rice. He expressed his surprise at the executive order implementing the measure when it was issued.