Article Index |Advertise | Mobile | RSS | Wireless | Newsletter | Archive | Corrections | Syndication | Contact us | About Us| Services
  Breaking News :    
Property Guide
Inquirer Mobile

Get the free INQUIRER newsletter
Enter your email address:

Inquirer Headlines / Nation Type Size: (+) (-)
You are here: Home > News > Inquirer Headlines > Nation

     Reprint this article     Print this article  
    Send Feedback  
    Post a comment   Share  



Arroyo names Ralph Recto NEDA chief

By Christine Avendańo, Michelle Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:45:00 07/24/2008

Filed Under: Economy, Business & Finance

MANILA, Philippines?Former Sen. Ralph Recto, the author of the controversial expanded value-added tax (VAT) law, has been appointed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as socioeconomic planning secretary and director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), effective immediately.

Recto is the third losing 2007 senatorial candidate of the administration party?s Team Unity to be given a position in the Arroyo administration.

Only recently, former Sen. Vicente Sotto III was named head of the Dangerous Drugs Board, while the President?s former chief of staff Michael Defensor was appointed head of the task force on the opening of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport?s Terminal 3.

Recto replaces Augusto Santos, who returns to his old job as NEDA deputy secretary general, according to Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita.

Other appointments

Ermita also announced Wednesday the appointments of former Armed Forces Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Antonio Romero II as undersecretary of the Department of National Defense and Thelma Santos as assistant secretary of the Department of Education.

?I look forward to possibly working with the best and the brightest of government employees in NEDA. I also look forward to sharing ideas with former NEDA director generals on a wide range of issues,? Recto said in text message to the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net).

Recto?s wife, actress Vilma Santos, is serving her first term as governor of Batangas province.

Arroyo?s personal choice

But Recto, who used to head the Senate committee on ways and means, admitted that his new job was a tough one given the current economic problems both locally and globally.

?It will be a very challenging job considering current conditions, such as global credit crunch, high fuel, rice and commodity prices,? Recto said.

Ermita told reporters that the President chose the former senator herself and signed his job papers on July 10.


He said the qualifications of Recto, an economist, were unquestionable.

Recto, 44, is a Commerce graduate of De La Salle University. He has a master?s in Public Administration from the University of the Philippines and master?s in Strategic Business Economics from the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Asked whether the appointment signaled that the government might be seeking new taxes, Ermita said he was certain the new NEDA head would be ?studying actions, measures and policies he can craft to help the President as a member of the economic team.?

?Let?s observe the conduct of Senator Recto,? he said.

Besides discussing ideas on economic development with former heads of NEDA, Recto said he would consult with representatives of the opposition to come up with appropriate policies to address risks faced by the economy and to maximize opportunities for growth.

?[I also look forward to] work out a consensus with the opposition on strategic economic policies regarding economic threats and opportunities,? he said.

Asked to comment if Recto?s appointment was a payback for losing senatorial candidates, Ermita said: ?We must recognize that the President is the appointing authority ? she will know the qualifications of those people who could help her in governance and therefore the President will not make any appointment that will not be of help to her. So let?s give it to the President.?

Presidential prerogative

Santos, the erstwhile acting NEDA chief, described the appointment of Recto as a ?presidential prerogative.?

?I serve at the pleasure of the President. I am a career official, a CESO (Career Executive Service Officer) and with his appointment, I shall go back to my former post,? he said in a brief statement.

NEDA ?has always been known for its professionalism so I am confident that it will continue to perform its mandate as the country?s premier socioeconomic planning body to the best of its abilities under a new head,? Santos said.

As NEDA chief, Recto will take the lead in coming up with government policies intended to help create more jobs, reduce poverty, and boost the overall domestic economy.

Global phenomenon

His appointment came amid the global phenomenon of accelerated increase in prices of imported fuel that have resulted in a double-digit inflation in the country, which is heavily dependent on imported oil.

Inflation, a measure of the increase in prices of goods and services consumed by average Filipino households, shot up to 11.4 percent in June, the fastest pace in 14 years.

The sharp rise in consumer prices has prompted economic officials to predict that the country?s economic growth for the year would hit only anywhere between 5.7 and 6.6 percent, slower than the 7.2 percent recorded last year.

In the first quarter, the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew by only 5.2 percent compared with the 7 percent in the same period a year ago. The slowdown is attributed to tighter consumer spending, which is a consequence of sharply rising prices.

Copyright 2015 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk.
Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate.
Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer
Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets,
Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94




  ^ Back to top

© Copyright 2001-2015 INQUIRER.net, An INQUIRER Company

Services: Advertise | Buy Content | Wireless | Newsletter | Low Graphics | Search / Archive | Article Index | Contact us
The INQUIRER Company: About the Inquirer | User Agreement | Link Policy | Privacy Policy

Philippine Fiesta
DZIQ 990