Recto, Go take oath as new Cabinet appointees

Recto, Go take oath as new Cabinet appointees
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HOUSE Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto took his oath on Friday, January 12, 2024, as the secretary of the Department of Finance (DOF).

Recto, along with Frederick Go, who was appointed as the Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs, took their respective oaths of office at the Malacañang grounds. The oath was administered by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Recto will be replacing Secretary Benjamin Diokno, who served as the governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) from 2019 until he was appointed by Marcos as the secretary for finance in May 2022.

In a press conference, Marcos said he offered Diokno a position to help manage the Maharlika fund, but he begged off as he opted to return to the BSP as a member of its Monetary Board.

“We are not changing horses in midstream. We are continuing policies we have laid down in the beginning. It was just time for Diokno. He felt it was time for him to return to his natural habitat in the Bangko Sentral,” the President said.

Marcos expressed gratitude to Diokno for steering the country's economy in the right direction during its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The President vouched for the ability of Recto to oversee economic growth as well as in infrastructure, healthcare and educational systems and bring a “wealth of experience” into the finance sector.

“I am certain that he will be championing reforms, leverage his experience in both houses of congress into passing bills that accelerate growth,” Marcos said.

“When the seductive call of populism beckons, I'm sure Sec. Recto will counsel us on the merits of fiscal discipline,” he added.

Marcos said among his marching orders to Recto is to strengthen the fight against those who have turned evading taxes into a business.

For his part, Recto said his first order of the day is to ensure the collection of P4.3 trillion in taxes for the year.

Recto served as the director-general of the National Economic Development from 2008 to 2009 under the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

He was first elected as Senator in 2001 and was reelected as Batangas Representative in 2022.

In a statement, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President Enunina Mangio expressed elation over Recto’s appointment.

“Senator Recto is perfectly suited for the job. He has the experience, expertise, and political backing that are critical if he is to oversee the strengthening of the country's economic and fiscal positions. He has led the National Economic Development Authority and authored and sponsored landmark measures that have helped the country weather economic crises, even [though] some were unpopular," Mangio said.

Recto authored the Expanded Value-Added Tax, the Rice Tariffication Law, and the Rent Control Act, among others.

Mangio said they are optimistic that Recto will continue to push for policies and reforms that are supportive of the growth of businesses and to ensure that the country's economic gains are sustained.

Meanwhile, Marcos expressed his trust in Go to lead the country into a new era of economic growth at the forefront.

“I trust that his fruitful years across many ventures sharpened his acumen for the next big opportunity,” Marcos said. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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