In a turnover ceremony held today, the officials and employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) warmly welcomed incoming Secretary Judy Taguiwalo as the new head of the Department.
Outgoing Sec. Corazon Juliano-Soliman officially handed over the helm of leadership to Sec. Taguiwalo through the symbolic turnover of the DSWD flag, the DSWD red vest, and the transition report.
In her message, Sec. Taguiwalo shared that under the leadership and overall thrust of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, she intends to make the DSWD an agency with “tunay na malasakit sa mahihirap (genuine compassion for the poor).”
Sec. Taguiwalo shared that deciding to join the Cabinet of Pres. Duterte was made easy by their common goal of instituting a “pamahalaan na nagbibigay ng prayoridad sa mahihirap (a government which gives priority to the poor).”
During the turnover, Sec. Taguiwalo outlined the major directions which DSWD will take under her leadership.
- Continue to extend financial assistance as well as other forms of immediate assistance and relief to the marginalized and vulnerable sectors of the country. These will be complemented with initiatives to enable the poor to stand on their own feet through jobs, asset reforms and other economic initiatives that will be done in coordination with other government agencies.
- Ensure the timely and adequate response to emergencies and calamities and in safeguarding the donations and other relief goods and materials entrusted to the department for distribution to the communities.
- Improve and strengthen the capabilities and facilities of DSWD-run centers and institutions responsible for addressing the immediate needs of the poor and the special sectors of senior citizens, persons with disabilities, children and youth and women, among others.
- Exert full efforts to address and remedy the impact of military operations on the livelihood, safety, security, schools and welfare of farmers and lumad; provide for the needs of evacuees; and most importantly help displaced lumad return to their ancestral lands.
- Develop and strengthen among DSWD personnel an ethic of service to the people which has no room for corruption.
In line with President Duterte’s objective of weeding out corruption in government, Sec. Taguiwalo will work towards a more transparent DSWD.
She added that a review of the DSWD’s programs and policies will be made in the first 100 days in her office, particularly the implementation of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, as well as the disaster relief efforts for Typhoon Yolanda-affected families and areas.
However, Sec. Taguiwalo also commended the DSWD employees for their notable service to ‘Yolanda’ survivors.
She added that although there were negative reports about the disaster operations like selectivity in the disaster response and presence of rotten goods, Sec. Taguiwalo said, “I believe that the Department has tried its best to be of service.”
Amid the cheers and applause of the employees, the new Secretary also emphasized that she will also look into the numerous contractual and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) workers of the Department.
Sec. Taguiwalo continued that she will conduct numerous consultations within the DSWD Central Office, as well as with the regional offices to review the Department’s current policies, programs, and services.
Moreover, the Secretary stressed that she will engage the Social Welfare Employees Association of the Philippines (SWEAP) as a partner in strengthening the Department’s programs and services.
In conclusion, Sec. Taguiwalo said, “pagtulungan natin ang pagpaplano para madama natin ang tunay na pagbabago at sama-samang paglingkuran ang sambayanan (let’s help one another so that we will all feel the genuine change and development, and together, we can serve the nation).” ###