Senate Trunkline 552-6601 loc. 8612, 8626 (Political) 8546 (Legis) 8543, 8547 (Admin)

1st Bicameral Conference Committee

Discussion on the disagreeing provisions of the 2015 General Appropriations Bill at the House of Representatives.

Deliberation of the Budget of the Department of Tourism (DOT)

Senator Ralph Recto, chairman of the finance subcommittee D, defends the P2.4 billion budget of the Department of...

Deliberation of the Budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)

RECTO GREETS ROXAS: Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto (left) clasps the hand of former Senator and Local...

Deliberation of the Budget of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto defends the proposed 2015 budget of the Department of Science and Technology....

Latest News

JAN
28
2015

Poll cancellation will free P7.7 B in SK funds, which Recto wants used for child feeding

Postponing the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will free up almost P7.7 billion in SK share from the Internal
JAN
28
2015

MILF told to surrender men involved in carnage, stop issuing visas to terrorists

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should turn over to government authorities all its personnel involved in the
JAN
27
2015

‘When Restos Offer Free Wi-Fi But Not Free Water, It’s Time To Strengthen Our Local Water Providers’

Co-Sponsorship Speech on SB No. 2518, CR No. 94 On the Condonation of Tax Liabilities of Water Districts Local Water
JAN
27
2015

Justice for slain SAF – Recto

If it is true that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is harboring them, they should surrender a Malaysian bomb
DEC
15
2014

Due to conflicting estimates, Recto calls for audit of coco levy funds

Due to conflicting estimates on the value of the “coco levy fund”, Sen. Ralph Recto has called for an audit to determine
NOV
24
2014

Teacher’s ‘chalk allowance’ to increase to P1,500 next year

The annual “chalk allowance” of public school teachers will go up from the present P1,000 to P1,500 next year, courtesy
NOV
21
2014

Senate OKs funding for 51,000 free WiFi spots

The Senate version of the 2015 national budget funds the setting up of free Wi-Fi spots all over the country so Internet
NOV
20
2014

DSWD to get P3.4 B for free meals for 2 M underweight kids

Government’s massive feeding program for undernourished children next year will cover even those not yet in school, as
NOV
19
2014

Budget needs rearview mirror

The 5,947-page national budget package may be as thick as an encyclopedia set, but it has one fault: It doesn’t tell
NOV
19
2014

Recto: Higher tax cap on 13th month pay merely recovers what was lost to inflation

The senator who introduced the amendment to raise to P82,000 the tax exemption cap for 13th month pay and other bonuses
NOV
18
2014

Time to Install a Rearview Mirror on the National Budget

Sponsorship Speech on the 2015 National Budget by Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph G. Recto One hundred years ago the
NOV
17
2014

Senate panel to fund full implementation of poor seniors’ pension

All indigent senior citizens will be covered by the social pension program once a Senate amendment to the 2015 national

Facebook Feed

Paying my respects to SAF 44 and their families (5 photos) ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Press Release
28 January 2015



MILF told to surrender men involved in carnage, stop issuing visas to terrorists



The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should turn over to government authorities all its personnel involved in the killing of 44 police commandos who were serving an arrest warrant on a Malaysian bomb-maker and his Filipino cohort in Maguindanao last Sunday.

Sen. Ralph Recto said the MILF will be aggravating a crime committed if it will allow the perpetrators to remain scot-free.

“It will be wrong for the MILF to use the ceasefire agreement it had signed with the government as a shield against arrest,” Recto said.

“That document does not inoculate anyone who had committed a grievous wrong from prosecution. You cannot claim immunity in the name of the peace process,” Recto said.

Recto said members of the government peace panel should convey the same demand to their counterparts in the rebel side.

He reminded them “that the bodies of the 44 SAF men should not be swept under the carpet being rolled out for the eventual Bangsamoro entity.”

Recto said “achieving peace in Mindanao and attaining justice for those killed can be pursued simultaneously if the MILF has the guts to punish the guilty and give justice to the dead.”

“By all means let us proceed with the peace process but first you must stop coddling your men so we can also proceed with the important job of giving justice to those who have been killed,” Recto said.

“This is a reasonable demand not meant to inflame passions but precisely to calm the fired up emotions of the people,” Recto said.

“The only way forward is for the MILF to surrender their men who were responsible for the killing of the policemen,” Recto said.

To prevent Sunday’ bloody carnage from happening again, Recto urged “the MILF to stop issuing visas to asylum seekers and wanted terrorists.”

The MILF should declare its enclaves as “no-go zones for terrorists.”

He reiterated his challenge to the MILF to deny the likes of Marwan and Usman sanctuary.

He was referring to Malaysian bomb-maker and top Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, known as Marwan, and his local cohort, Basit Usman, who were the targets of the waylaid Special Action Forces team.

"Any group in talks for permanent peace with the government should not be giving sanctuary to terrorists," Recto said.

"It should not allow zones it control to be used as rest and recreation areas for wanted fugitives who by their skills and bloody curriculum vitaes present a clear and present danger to the nation," Recto said.

Recto said even if reports are true that the two terrorists were actually in areas controlled by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), "then the MILF should not side with the BIFF but assist the police and the military in apprehending them."

"If the MILF wants to be our BFF, then they should stop playing footsies with the BIFF," Recto said. (END)
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Press Release
28 January 2015

Poll cancellation will free P7.7 B in SK funds, which Recto wants used for child feeding

Postponing the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will free up almost P7.7 billion in SK share from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of barangays this year, Sen. Ralph Recto said today.

Under the law, the SKs get 10 percent of the barangays’ IRA, which is P76.7 billion for 2015.

Because the amount will now be retained by barangays, the latter can spend it for child feeding in day care centers, a program that will address the “two important issues of literacy and nutrition at the same time,” Recto suggested.

The P7.7 billion SK fund is actually bigger than the P7.2 billion that government will spend this year for two major nutrition programs run by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWS), Recto said.

Under the 2015 national budget, the DepEd is allocated P3.8 billion to provide meals to 1.93 million undernourished gradeschoolers.

DepEd’s original budget was P2.8 billion but Recto and Senate Finance Committee chair Sen. Chiz Escudero increased it by P1 billion.

The DSWD, on the other hand, will get P3.36 billion for a supplemental feeding program covering 2.5 million two- to five-year olds enrolled in day care centers or wards of neighborhood associations.

“Theoretically, the funding for feeding can be doubled if the SK fund will be used to ‘fortify’ what has been earmarked in the national budget,” Recto said.

The Senate bill which resets the SK polls to October 2016 directs the barangay council to disburse the SK fund “solely for youth development programs.”

It reiterates the same provision in an earlier SK election postponement law, Republic Act 10632 , which scrapped the polls supposed to be held in October 2013.

The passage of the bill resetting the SK polls anew is a done deal, Recto said. “In the Senate, there’s bipartisan consensus that calling off the elections is the right thing to do.”

“But the proposed law does not only reschedule the elections, it sets the policy on what will happen to the SK share, and that is to exclusively use it for youth development programs,” Recto explained.

“And no programs are more worthwhile than nutrition and education,” Recto said in justifying why the SK fund must be used to feed undernourished kids.

He, however, admitted that the final decision on how the SK share will be spent rests on the Sangguniang Barangay, for as long as it is within the ambit of programs for young people.

The IRA represents the 40 percent share of local governments from internal revenues collected by the national government three years before.

For this year, total IRA is P389.8, with the 81 provinces getting P91 billion; 144 cities sharing P89.2 billion; 1,478 towns, P132.9 billion; and 41,889 barangays, P76.7 billion.

Recto said the SK share of P7.7 billion is three times bigger than the 2015 appropriations of the Department of Tourism, twice that of the Department of Trade and Industry, six times that of the Civil Service Commission, and bigger than the combined budget of the 26 state universities and colleges in the Visayas.

“It is even 15 times bigger the Assistance to Nationals Fund for overseas Filipinos in distress,” Recto said.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Press Release

27 January 2015

Justice for slain SAF - Recto

If it is true that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is harboring them, they should surrender a Malaysian bomb maker and his Filipino sidekick, the hunt for whom led to the massacre of 44 police commandoes in an MILF-influenced area in Maguindanao Sunday, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said today.

“Giving up Marwan and Usman is the only way that public belief on the MILF’s sincerity in pursuing peace can be restored and for the peace process to move forward,” Recto said.

He was referring to Malaysian bomb-maker and top Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, known as Marwan, and his local cohort, Basit Usman, who were the targets of the waylaid Special Action Force (SAF) team.

“Of paramount importance to all Filipinos is justice for the slain SAF,” Recto said. He expressed hope that the Board of Inquiry will come up with results soon.

“Fact is, the incident has hit a major stumbling block in the peace process. The only way to reboot it is for the MILF, if indeed it is tolerating the presence of Marwan and Usman, to give the two the boot,” Recto said.

“Any group in talks for permanent peace with the government should not be giving sanctuary to terrorists,” Recto said.

“It should not allow zones it control to be used as rest and recreation areas for wanted fugitives who by their skills and bloody curriculum vitaes present a clear and present danger to the nation,” Recto said.

Recto said even if reports are true that the two terrorists were actually in areas controlled by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), “then the MILF should not side with the BIFF but assist the police and the military in apprehending them.”

“If the MILF wants to be our BFF, then they should stop playing footsies with the BIFF,” Recto said.

If Sunday’s bloodbath was a result of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) failure to coordinate with the MILF, as the latter had insisted, “there would still have been no need for the police to arrest them if the MILF had not allowed them to stay there in the first place.”

Recto said the MILF must undertake “grand confidence-building measures” to win back the public whose trust and support are needed for the “last mile of the peace process to succeed.”

“The BBL, the peace process have become collateral damage of Sunday’s massacre. The fastest way to recover from the setback is if the MILF will partner with the government in arresting Marwan and Usman,” Recto said.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook