FINANCE Secretary Ralph G. Recto beams with his former colleagues in the Senate after he breezed through the Commission on Appointments hearing on Wednesday, earning their easy nod. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ JESSE BUSTOS

THE COMMISSION on Appointments (CA) confirmed on Wednesday the appointment of veteran lawmaker Ralph G. Recto as Secretary of the Department of Finance (DoF).

During the hearing on his appointment, Mr. Recto reiterated that he does not see the need to introduce new taxes. “The tax gap between the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) and (Bureau of) Customs is still significant, hence we should try to improve tax administration efficiency in the Customs,” he said partly in Filipino.

Mr. Recto was appointed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Jr. to lead the DoF last January, replacing former secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, who has since moved to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as a member of the Monetary Board.

When asked how his views differ from his predecessor, Mr. Recto said: “In fiscal deficit, we both hold the same view that it should be reduced. However, it should not be too steep of a curve and not at the expense of growth.”

In giving a nod to Mr. Recto’s Cabinet appointment, Senator Ramon Revilla, who chairs the CA Finance Committee, said: “When fiscal policy is pushed by a numbers man like you (Mr. Recto), we are confident that we are in good hands.”

The former senator who ran and won a seat in the House of Representatives in 2022 had his term cut short as the President tapped him to head the finance department.

As a lawmaker, he had authored and sponsored such economic measures as the Salary Standardization Law, the Affordable Electricity Act, and the Rice Tariffication Act.

Mr. Recto also served as the director general of the National Economic and Development Authority during the presidency of now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio