Bongbong Marcos picks Recto as new finance chief–media

/ 05:13 PM January 11, 2024

MANILA, Philippine–President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed longtime lawmaker Ralph Recto as his finance minister, GMA News reported on Thursday, quoting the congressman’s wife.

Recto, 60, would replace Benjamin Diokno, who has served as finance secretary since Marcos took office in June 2022. The president’s office and Diokno did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

Recto’s wife, Vilma Santos-Recto, separately told Philippine tabloid Abante he will take his oath on Friday.


“He was given the trust because he’s such a good economist,” Santos said.


Recto, a lawmaker for much of the past three decades including three stints as senator, is expected to relinquish his post as congressman and deputy house speaker to take the cabinet job.

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He served briefly as director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority from 2008 to 2009.

Neither Recto nor his wife immediately replied to Reuters’ request for comment and confirmation.

In recent months, speculation has been swirling over his potential appointment after he joined Marcos’ delegation to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in the United States last year, while still serving in Congress.

As finance minister, Recto will face the challenge of cutting the country’s debt to 48 percent of its gross domestic product by the end of Marcos’ term in 2028 from 61 percent in 2022.


He will also be charged with cutting the budget deficit to 3 percent from more than 7 percent in 2022 in the same period.

Recto is widely known for shepherding a law that raised sales taxes in 2005 when he was a senator.

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TAGS: Benjamin Diokno, finance secretary, Ralph Recto

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