Recto confident in DOF team to fulfill noble mission, instills empathy in public service to genuinely meet the needs of Filipinos

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Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto has expressed confidence in the capability of the Department of Finance (DOF) team to fulfill the agency’s noble mission of delivering an economy that benefits every Filipino, while underscoring that empathy should be at the core of public service to genuinely meet the needs of the people.

“I have the privilege of leading an extraordinary team in the DOF. I am surrounded by people whose credentials are even much much better than mine. Kung talino lang ang pag-uusapan, sobra-sobra ang galing at talino ng mga taga-DOF. Pero, puso is what I want to instill here,” he said in his speech at the kick-off ceremony of the DOF’s 127th Anniversary celebration.

“By empathy, I mean that we should not allow the DOF to become a fortress, disconnected from the realities outside, where theoretical exercises overshadow the true challenges on the ground,” he added.

Secretary Recto reminded the DOF community to carry the virtue of empathy in their daily tasks, immersing themselves in grassroots realities to develop policies and deliver services that genuinely meet the needs of the Filipino people.

The DOF will be celebrating its 127th anniversary of serving the Filipino people as the country’s steward of sound fiscal policy on April 24, 2024.

Founded in 1897, the DOF predates the establishment of the Republic of the Philippines and was primarily tasked to finance the revolution, education, and health through progressive taxation.

Now, the DOF leads in formulating fiscal and economic policies that ensure funding of critical government programs that promote welfare among the Filipino people and accelerate inclusive economic growth.

“For 127 years, the DOF has been funding our nation’s dreams and providing solutions to the challenges that you, yourselves, encounter every day,” Secretary Recto said.

The Finance Chief invited the DOF staff to take stock of their surroundings, citing their critical role in every infrastructure project, classroom, and hospital facility built by the government.

“For instance, when you witness the birth of new public infrastructure projects—roads, bridges, and trains—that is the fruit of our labor in revenue collection and fiscal planning,” he stressed.

“With every child marching proudly at graduation, we have secured the financing for the construction of the very public classrooms that nurture their dreams and aspirations,” Secretary Recto added.

“Every precious life saved within the walls of our public hospitals is a testament to our concerted efforts to guarantee sufficient funding for improved medical services and facilities,” he further cited.

He also underscored that the DOF personnel’s hard work also ensures that the government fills the pay envelopes of its invaluable workforce—the public school teachers, nurses, doctors, policemen, and military personnel—who all help foster the well-being of citizens and maintain public safety.

Moreover, he explained that the feeding programs supported by the DOF not only provide nourishment for underprivileged children but also address hunger and lay the groundwork for healthier and thriving members of society.

“The resilience of the Philippine economy, weathering storms and crises throughout the years, is a result of our careful fiscal and economic policies and prudent management of the nation’s resources,” he remarked.

With this, Secretary Recto urged the DOF community to break free from conventional thinking and pursue bolder visions and audacious programs that will bring about a Bagong Pilipinas—all while ensuring empathy remains at the heart of all of the DOF’s efforts.

“As we begin to see our dreams of genuine economic transformation come to life and witness real improvements in the lives of every Filipino, it will be because of the dedication of each and every one of you in the DOF. The Filipino people will have every one of you to thank for,” he said in closing.

Among the crucial tasks of the DOF is ensuring effective and efficient revenue generation, resource mobilization, debt management, and financial market development to provide a solid foundation for a Philippine economy that is one of the most active and dynamic in the world. Likewise, the DOF steers fiscal programs toward an investment-friendly environment, which is the catalyst for inclusive growth.