Ralph Recto

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In this Philippine name. The middle name or maternal family name is Gonzales and the surname or paternal family name is Recto.
The Honorable
Ralph 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
February 27, 2017
Preceded by Franklin Drilon
In office
July 22, 2013 – June 30, 2016
Preceded by Jinggoy Estrada
Succeeded by Franklin Drilon
Minority Floor Leader of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
July 25, 2016 – February 27, 2017
Preceded by Juan Ponce Enrile
Succeeded by Franklin Drilon
Senator of the Philippines
Assumed office
June 30, 2010
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 from Batangas' 4th district
In office
June 30, 1992 – June 30, 2001
Preceded by Jose E. Calingasan
Succeeded by Oscar L. Gozos
Personal details
Born Ralph Gonzales Recto
(1964-01-11) January 11, 1964 (age 53)
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 2 (notably Luis (Adopted))
Residence Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila
Lipa City, Batangas
Alma mater De La Salle University
Occupation Politician

Ralph Gonzales Recto (born January 11, 1964) is a Filipino politician. He 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 ran for reelection and lost because, as many analysts believed, he had authored the unpopular EVAT (Expanded Value 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 for another run for the Senate in the 2010 election.[1] Recto won a seat in the Senate and was proclaimed as one of the winning senatorial candidates in the said 2010 Senate elections.

Early 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. His older brother, Ricky Recto, was the former vice governor of the province of Batangas.

His late mother is Carmen Gonzalez-Recto. His sister, Plinky Recto, is an actress and TV host.


Recto acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at the De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde. He entered the College of Public Administration of the University of the Philippines, Diliman to acquire a Master of Public Administration degree; he attended the program in the first semester from 1991-1992, but later entered the University of Asia and the Pacific to take an 11-month course to acquire a Certificate in Business Economics under the Strategic Business Economics Program of the university's School of Economics. He also took up a Leadership Scholarship Course at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

Political career[edit]


Recto 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 a 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, first term[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.

Arroyo cabinet[edit]

After his failed bid for re-election to the Senate in 2007, Recto joined the board of the Union Bank of the Philippines.[2]

He is said to be offered the position of Secretary of Finance but it was subsequently denied by Malacañang.[3]

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.[4] 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]

Senate, second term[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.[5] Fellow senator, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, called Recto's actions an "abject surrender to the very rich and very powerful tobacco and alcohol lobby.”[6] In response to the pressure, Senator Recto soon stepped down as the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.[7]

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.

Recto ran for re-election in the Philippine Senate election, 2016 under the Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid of LP standard bearer Mar Roxas and won placing 11th in the polls.

Major Laws Authored/Sponsored[edit]

This is a partial list of the laws he has authored:[8]

  • RA 10868 - Centenarians Act (June 30, 2016)
  • RA 10863 - Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (May 30, 2016)
  • RA 10848 - Extending the Period of Implementation of the Agricultural Competitiveness and Enhancement Fund (ACEF) (May 23, 2016)
  • RA 10844 - Department of Information And Communications Technology Act of 2015 (May 23, 2016)
  • RA 10801 - Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Act (May 10, 2016)
  • RA 10754 - Additional Benefits for Persons with Disability (PWD) (March 23, 2016)
  • RA 10708 - Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act (TIMTA) (December 9, 2015)
  • RA 10699 - National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act (November 13, 2015)
  • RA 10692 - PAGASA Modernization Act (November 3, 2015)
  • RA 10653 - Increasing the Tax Exempt Ceiling on 13th Month Pay and Other Benefits (February 12, 2015)
  • RA 10645 - Philhealth Coverage for All Senior Citizens (November 5, 2014)
  • RA 10638 - Philippine National Railways Charter Extension (June 16, 2014)
  • RA 10533 - Enhancing the Philippine Basic Education System ("K to 12 Program") (May 15, 2013)
  • RA 10531 - Strengthening the National Electrification Administration (May 7, 2013)
  • RA 10378 - International Common Carriers Tax Exemption (March 7, 2013)
  • RA 10157 - Kindergarten Education Act (January 20, 2012)
  • RA 9480 - General Tax Amnesty (May 24, 2007)
  • RA 9400 - Amendments to BCDA (March 20, 2007)
  • RA 9399 - BCDA’s One-Time Tax Amnesty (March 20, 2007)
  • RA 9361 - Lifting of the 70% Cap on Input VAT (November 21, 2006)
  • RA 9343 - Extension of RA 9182 (Special Purpose Vehicle Act of 2002) (April 24, 2006)
  • RA 9341 - Amendments to the Rent Reform Act (December 21, 2005)
  • RA 9337 - Amendments to the National Internal Revenue Code – (Reformed VAT and Increase in Corporate Income Tax)
  • RA 9335 - Lateral Attrition Act of 2005 (January 25, 2005)
  • RA 9334 - Increasing the Excise Tax Rates on Alcohol and Tobacco Products (December 21, 2004)
  • RA 9301 - Philippine Overseas Shipping Act (July 27, 2004)
  • RA 9295 - Domestic Shipping Act (May 3, 2004)
  • RA 9294 - Restoring the Tax Exemption of Offshore Banking Units (OBUs) and Foreign Currency Deposit Units (FCDUs) (April 28, 2004)
  • RA 9282 - Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) (March 30, 2004)
  • RA 9243 - Rationalizing the Provisions of Documentary Stamp Tax (February 17, 2004)
  • RA 9238 - Excluding Several Services from VAT Coverage (February 5, 2004)
  • RA 9224 - Rationalization of Excise Tax on Automobiles (August 29, 2003)
  • RA 9182 - Special Purpose Vehicle Act of 2002 (December 23, 2002)
  • RA 9178 - Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Act of 2002 (November 13, 2002)
  • RA 9167 - Film Development and Incentives Board (June 7, 2002)
  • RA 9161 - Rent Reform Act of 2001 (December 22, 2001)
  • RA 8762 - Retail Trade Liberalization Law (March 7, 2000)
  • RA 8756 - Regional Headquarters Law (November 23, 1999)
  • RA 8748 - Amendments to the Special Economic Zone Law (June 1, 1999)
  • RA 8425 - Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act (December 11, 1997)

Personal life[edit]

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 and also in Inosluban, Lipa.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Larano, Cris. "UPDATE:Philippines Econ Chief Quits To Prepare For Elections". Nasdaq. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  2. ^ AbsCbn, Defensor joins Petron board
  3. ^ abs-cbnnews.com
  4. ^ abs-cbnnews.com, Ermita: Recto is new NEDA chief
  5. ^ Santos, Matikas (2012-10-15). "Doctors confront Recto on his sin tax bill version". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ "Recto quits committee chairmanship". Rappler. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  8. ^ http://ralphrecto.ph/legislation/authored-laws/

External links[edit]

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

2008 – 2009
Succeeded by
Augusto Santos