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Ralph Recto
President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines
Assumed office
February 27, 2017
Preceded byFranklin Drilon
In office
July 22, 2013 – June 30, 2016
Preceded byJinggoy Estrada
Succeeded byFranklin Drilon
Senate Minority Leader
In office
July 25, 2016 – February 27, 2017
Preceded byJuan Ponce Enrile
Succeeded byFranklin Drilon
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 Socioeconomic Planning
In office
July 23, 2008 – August 16, 2009[1]
PresidentGloria Macapagal Arroyo
Preceded byRomulo Neri
Augusto Santos (acting)
Succeeded byCayetano 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 byJose E. Calingasan
Succeeded byOscar L. Gozos
Personal details
Ralph Gonzalez Recto

(1964-01-11) 11 January 1964 (age 57)
Quezon City, Philippines
Political partyNacionalista Party (2004–2007, 2018–present)[2][3]
Other political
LDP (1992–2001)
Lakas (2001–2004, 2007–2009)[2]
Liberal (2009–2018)[2]
(m. 1992)
ChildrenRyan Recto
ResidenceMuntinlupa, Metro Manila
Lipa City, Batangas
Alma materDe La Salle–College of Saint Benilde (BS)
De La Salle University (BS)
University of the Philippines Diliman (MPA, no degree)
University of Asia and the Pacific (Grad cert.)
Net worth581.1 million[4]
(Dec. 31, 2020)
WebsiteOfficial website

Ralph Gonzalez Recto (Tagalog pronunciation: [gonˈsalɛs ˈrɛktɔ]; born January 11, 1964) is a Filipino politician serving as the president pro tempore of the Philippine Senate since 2017, previously holding the position from 2013 to 2016. Since 2010, he has been on his second stint in the Senate, first serving from 2001 to 2007. He was the representative of Batangas' 4th district from 1992 to 2001.

In 2007, Recto lost his reelection bid 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 (NEDA) in the Arroyo administration, but resigned from his position in August 2009 in preparation for another run for the Senate in the 2010 elections.[1]

He is a grandson of statesman Claro M. Recto. His wife is actress-politician Vilma Santos.

Early life

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 while 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, at the time was a constituent college of De La Salle University. 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 to 1992, but later entered the University of Asia and the Pacific to take an 11-month course to acquire a graduate 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

House of Representatives: 1992–2001

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.

First term in the Senate: 2001–2007

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.

He was co-chairman of the Congressional Oversight Committees on the Proper Implementation of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) and on the Official Development Assistance (ODA). He was also chairman of the Accounts committee.

During his first six-year term as Senator, he was largely responsible for the passage of laws with positive impact to consumers, small entrepreneurs, workers and industry.

National Economic and Development Authority: 2008–2009

After his failed bid for re-election to the Senate in 2007, Recto joined the board of the Union Bank of the Philippines.[5]

He is said to be offered the position of Secretary of Finance but it was subsequently denied by Malacañang.[6]

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.[7] 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]

Second term in the Senate: 2010–2016

He was proclaimed as one of the winning senatorial candidates of the 2010 Senate elections.

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.

His legislative accomplishments during this period include authorship of laws on institutionalization of Kindergarten, implementation of K to 12, extension of the corporate life of the Philippine National Railways (PNR), increasing the tax-exempt ceiling on 13th month pay, Christmas bonus and other benefits, mandatory PHILHEALTH coverage for senior citizens, additional benefits for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), PAGASA modernization, extension of the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization, creation of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

Recto participated and was very vocal during the Senate hearings on Balikbayan boxes scam, the "Laglag bala" incidents in airports, and the shortage of license plates, among other things.

Third term in the Senate: 2016–Present

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

On the opening day of the 17th Congress, July 25, 2016, Senator Francis Escudero nominated Recto for the presidency. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV seconded Escudero's nomination. During nominal voting, Pimentel voted for Recto. Recto voted for Pimentel. After losing the vote, Recto automatically became the Minority Leader. He was joined by Escudero and Trillanes.[8] Recto, in his acceptance speech for the post, vowed that the minority would cooperate with the Duterte administration's plans if these serve "the public interest." However, he said, they would be "duty-bound" to oppose the majority's agenda if it "hurts the nation."[9]

When the Senate underwent a reorganization on February 27, 2017, Recto, after getting 17 votes, was declared Senate President Pro Tempore, replacing Drilon.[10]

For the 17th Congress, he authored the following laws: Murang Kuryente Act, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Act, Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, Universal Health Care Act, Philhealth Coverage for PWDs, National Integrated Cancer Control Act, Tax Amnesty Act, The New Central Bank Act, Lifting Quantitave Import Restriction on Rice, Social Security Act, First 1000 Days of Life, Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education, Comprehensive National Feeding Program, Free Irrigation Service, Ease of Doing Business/Expanded Anti-Red Tape Act, Free Internet Access in Public Places, Extending the Validity of Philippine Passport and Driver's License, National ID System, and Designating Casinos as Covered Persons under the AMLA.

Recto kept his post as Senate President Pro-Tempore in the 18th Congress.[11]

In September 2018, Recto left the Liberal Party to re-join the Nacionalista Party.[3]

Laws authored/sponsored

This biographical section is written like a résumé. Please help improve it by revising it to be neutral and encyclopedic. (March 2018)

Laws authored/sponsored by Ralph G. Recto:[12]

Duterte administration (17th and 18th Congress)

Aquino administration (15th and 16th Congress)

Arroyo administration (12th & 13th Congress)

Estrada administration (11th Congress)

Ramos administration (9th & 10th Congress)

Personal life

He is married to Batangas Representative Vilma Santos-Recto, with whom he has one son named Ryan Christian. He is also the stepfather to actor Luis Philippe Manzano. He is an active member of Tau Gamma Phi.

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

See also


  1. ^ a b c Larano, Cris. "UPDATE:Philippines Econ Chief Quits To Prepare For Elections". Nasdaq. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Bueza, Michael (May 11, 2019). "Midterm exodus: When political butterflies switch party alliances". Rappler. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Cepeda, Mara (September 21, 2018). "Rectos leave Liberal Party, join Nacionalista Party". Rappler. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  4. ^ Martinez, Jacq (September 21, 2021). "Billionaires Villar, Pacquiao still richest senators in 2020". Rappler. Archived from the original on September 21, 2021. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  5. ^ AbsCbn, Defensor joins Petron board
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^, Ermita: Recto is new NEDA chief[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Ager, Maila (July 25, 2016). "Koko Pimentel takes Senate presidency by 20-3 vote". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "Recto: Senate minority won't oppose just for the sake of it". Rappler. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  10. ^ "Recto replaces Drilon as Senate President pro tempore". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  11. ^ "Status quo: Tito Sotto reelected as Senate president". Rappler. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  12. ^ "RalphRecto.Ph".
House of Representatives of the Philippines Preceded byJose Calingasan Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Batangas' 4th District 1992 – 2001 Succeeded byOscar L. Gozos Political offices Preceded byRomulo Neri National Economic and Development AuthorityDirector-General 2008 – 2009 Succeeded byCayetano Paderanga Jr. Senate of the Philippines Preceded byJinggoy Estrada President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines 2013–2016 Succeeded byFranklin Drilon Preceded byJuan Ponce Enrile Senate Minority Leader 2016–2017 Preceded byFranklin Drilon President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines 2017–present Incumbent