Ralph Recto

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Ralph G. Recto
Ralph Recto cropped.jpg
Ralph Recto at a 2007 political rally in Cebu City
President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines
Assumed office
July 22, 2013
Preceded by Jinggoy Estrada
Senator of the Philippines
Assumed office
June 30, 2010
In office
June 30, 2001 – June 30, 2007
12th Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority
Concurrently Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning
In office
July 23, 2008 – August 16, 2009[1]
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Preceded by Romulo Neri
Augusto Santos (acting)
Succeeded by Cayetano Paderanga, Jr.
Augusto Santos (acting)
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives
In office
June 30, 1992 – June 30, 2001
Preceded by Jose E. Calingasan
Succeeded by Oscar L. Gozos
Constituency 4th District of Batangas
Personal details
Born Ralph Gonzales Recto
(1964-01-11) January 11, 1964 (age 51)
Quezon City, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Political party Liberal Party (2009-present)
Lakas Kampi CMD (2001-2003; 2007-2009)
Nacionalista (2003-2007)
LDP (1992-2001)
Spouse(s) Vilma Santos (m. 1992–present)
Children Luis Philippe Manzano (stepson)
Ryan Christian Recto
Residence Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila
Lipa City, Batangas
Alma mater De La Salle University
Occupation Politician
Religion Roman Catholicism

Ralph Gonzales Recto (born January 11, 1964) is a Filipino politician. Recto served as a member of the House of Representatives representing the 4th District of Batangas from 1992 to 2001. He was then elected to the Senate, serving from 2001 to 2007. In 2007, Recto run for reelection and lost because, as many analysts believed, he had authored the EVAT (Expanded Variable Added Tax) law. In July 2008 he was appointed to head the National Economic and Development Authority, but resigned from his position in August 2009 in preparation to run for senator in the 2010 election.[1] Recto won a seat in the Senate and was proclaimed as one of the winning senatorial candidates of the 2010 Senate elections.

Family and personal life[edit]

Recto comes from a political family. His grandfather, the late nationalist and statesman Claro M. Recto was a Senator for several terms. His father Atty. Rafael Recto was an Assemblyman during the Regular Batasang Pambansa and his late mother Carmen Gonzalez-Recto. His older brother Ricky Recto was the former vice governor of the province of Batangas, while his sister Plinky Recto is an actress and TV host.

He is married to Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, father to Ryan Christian and stepfather to Luis Philippe Manzano whom he legally adopted. He is an active member of Tau Gamma Phi.

He currently resides in Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City and also in Inosluban, Lipa City.


He acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at the College of St. Benilde of De La Salle University-Manila. Recto entered the College of Public Administration of the University of the Philippines, Diliman to acquire a Master of Public Administration and attended the first semester from 1991-1992 then later entered at the University of Asia and the Pacific where he took an 11-month course to acquire a Certificate in Business Economics under the Strategic Business Economics Program of the School of Economics of the university.[2] He also took up a Leadership Scholarship Course at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

He holds the distinction of being the youngest elected member of the House of Representatives during the 9th Congress. He also holds an unprecedented record in the congressional election history of Batangas for winning in all precincts, barangays, and municipalities together with Lipa City in the 1995 and 1998 elections. He garnered 98% of the votes cast in those two elections in the 4th District of Batangas.

During his three terms (from 1992 to 2001) as Member of the House of Representatives, most of his legislative measures enacted into law deal with economic reforms and poverty alleviation. Among which are the Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act; the Philippine Economic Zone Law; Amendment to the Special Economic Zone Law; the Retail Trade Liberalization Law; Regional Headquarters Law and the Comprehensive Tax Reform Law.

Senate (2001–2007)[edit]

Recto was elected to the Senate in 2001, becoming the youngest Senator of the 12th Congress at the age of 37. In the Senate, he chaired the Committees on Ways and Means and on Trade and Industry.

National Economic and Development Authority (2007–2009)[edit]

After his failed bid for re-election to the Senate in 2007, Recto joined the board of the Union Bank of the Philippines.[3]

He is said to be offered the position of Secretary of Finance but it was subsequently denied by Malacañang.[4]

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, on July 23, 2008 named him as the new director-general of National Economic and Development Authority, replacing Augusto Santos, acting NEDA chief.[5] On August 11, 2009, he resigned as NEDA secretary and Presidential Adviser for Economic Planning, in preparation for another run for Senate in the 2010 election.[1]

Return to the Senate[edit]

He was proclaimed as one of the winning senatorial candidates of the 2010 Senate elections. In 2012, while being the committee chair for the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Recto came under fire from doctors, anti-smoking groups and the Aquino Administration for "diluting" a proposed Sin Tax Bill in favor of tobacco firms in the Philippines, reducing proposed taxes from P60 Billion to P15 Billion.[6] Fellow senator, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, called Recto's actions an "abject surrender to the very rich and very powerful tobacco and alcohol lobby.”[7] In response to the pressure, Senator Recto soon stepped down as the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.[8]

On July 22, 2013, at the start of the first day of the 1st Regular Session of the Senate for the 16th Congress, Recto was elected Senate President Pro-Tempore, the second highest post in the Senate and was also the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology and member of the powerful bicameral Commission on Appointments.

Laws authored[edit]

  • RA 7196 - Special Economic Zone Law
  • RA 8424 - Comprehensive Tax Reform Law
  • RA 8425 - Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act
  • RA 8478 - Amendments to the Special Economic Zone Law
  • RA 8756 - Regional Headquarters Law
  • RA 8762 - Retail Trade Liberalization Law
  • RA 9337 - EVAT Law
  • RA 9333 - Lateral Attrition Law
  • RA 9334 - Sin Tax Law
  • RA 9301 - Philippine Overseas Shipping Law
  • RA 9294 - FCDU
  • RA 9295 - Domestic Shipping Development Act
  • RA 9282 - Court of Tax Appeals Law
  • RA 9243 - DST Law
  • RA 9238 - Excise Tax Law
  • RA 9182 - Special Purpose Vehicle Law
  • RA 9178 - Barangay Micro Business Enterprise Law
  • RA 9167 - Film Development Council
  • RA 9161 - Rent Control Law

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Larano, Cris. "UPDATE:Philippines Econ Chief Quits To Prepare For Elections". Nasdaq. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  2. ^ Vitug, Marites Dañguilan; Bueza, Michael. "No master’s degrees for Ralph Recto". Rappler. 
  3. ^ AbsCbn, Defensor joins Petron board
  4. ^ abs-cbnnews.com
  5. ^ abs-cbnnews.com, Ermita: Recto is new NEDA chief
  6. ^ Santos, Matikas (2012-10-15). "Doctors confront Recto on his sin tax bill version". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  7. ^ Ager, Maila (10/11/2012). "Santiago ‘gobsmacked’ at Recto sin tax bill version". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2012-09-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Recto quits committee chairmanship". Rappler. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 

External links[edit]

House of Representatives of the Philippines
Preceded by
Jose Calingasan
Representative, 4th District of Batangas
1992 – 2001
Succeeded by
Oscar L. Gozos
Political offices
Preceded by
Augusto Santos
National Economic and Development Authority

2008 – 2009
Succeeded by
Augusto Santos