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DSWD in good hands — Solons

February 1, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 279 views

VALENZUELA City Representative Rex Gatchalian’s vast experience as a local chief executive will make a good difference in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), lawmakers said yesterday.

Gatchalian took his oath of office before President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday.

Senators Nancy Binay and Loren Legarda said in separate statements that Gatchalian, as a former mayor, has proven how effective he is in providing social services.

“Being a hands-on local chief executive, he knows how to operationalize the range of social welfare services and mechanisms, at napakalaking bagay sa DSWD ang kanyang experience at exposure sa iba’t ibang ground scenarios (and his experience and exposure in different ground scenarios is a big thing for DSWD),” Binay said. “Kabisado na n’ya ang (He knows) social work, and no need for him to start at the bottom of the learning curve.”

Believing in Gatchalian’s knowledge about the needs of local government units (LGUs), Legarda said the DSWD’s new chief communicates well with people.

Senator Grace Poe, who has also worked with Gatchalian, said she sees him as a “sincere, competent, and committed” public servant.

“He has a genuine heart for the poor and an untiring passion to make a difference in uplifting their lives. The DSWD is in good hands with him at the helm,” Poe said.

For senators JV Ejercito and Sonny Angara, Gatchalian is the best choice as DSWD secretary.

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez also welcomed the appointment of Gatchalian .Romualdez believes Gatchalian is an excellent choice to head the DSWD, citing the latter’s outstanding track record and long experience as a public servant.

“Cong., now Secretary Rex, the loss of Congress is the gain of the DSWD. We wish you the best of luck,” Speaker Romualdez said in a media interview.

“We know that you’re going to do a fantastic job. You’ve done so well in Valenzuela, we know your public service, your dedication, your diligence, your energy, will translate to further success for the DSWD,” Speaker Romualdez added.

Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Ralph Recto and Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco said Gatchalian can deliver in the “toughest and thankless” job in the government.

“Kasama ko sa Congress, kasabay kong Mayor noong pandemic. Magaling, kayang kaya niya yan, he will deliver,” said Tiangco, one of the closest friends of Gatchalian.

“For one, he survived the stress test of being a big city mayor during the pandemic, a position which put him in close contact with the people and their problems,” Recto said.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga, Jr. said President Marcos made a great choice in appointing Gatchalian as secretary of social welfare and development because of his sterling record both as a local chief executive and a lawmaker.

Speaker Romualdez said in the meantime, the House would likely appoint a caretaker because of the vacancy created by Gatchalian’s appointment to DSWD.

“Usually, when a vacancy occurs such as in the case where Cong. Rex Gatchalian has been appointed and has now taken his oath as Secretary of the DSWD—-there’s a vacancy—so there will be a caretaker for that situation of his absence,” Speaker Romualdez explained.

However, the Speaker noted that the choice of the caretaker will be decided after consultation with Gatchalian and his political party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).

Being a three-time mayor of Valenzuela City, Barzaga said his personal touch in attending to the needs of his constituents will be invaluable as he takes the helm of the DSWD.

In a radio interview, Gatchalian appealed to the Filipinos as as to his critics to give him a chance to lead a department and perform his job.

“Bigyan nyo lang muna ako ng chance, papatunayan ko ang sarili ko,” Gatchalian said.

Meanwhile, he vowed to Valenzuelanos that his service will continue.

“Sa aking mga ka- Valenzuelanos, tuloy tuloy lang ang serbisyo,” he said in his twitter following the appointment.

For this year, 22 million people in 4.4 million households get monthly stipends under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

The program has a budget of P102.6 billion, which is bigger than the Department of Agriculture’s budget of P99 billion.

He replaces Erwin Tulfo whose appointment was bypassed twice by the Commission on Appointments. PNA, Jester Manalastas, RPP