Senators welcome Rex Gatchalian’s appointment as DSWD chief
MANILA, Philippines — Senators welcomed the appointment of Valenzuela City 1st District Representative Rex Gatchalian as the new head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. appointed Gatchalian on Tuesday evening, according to the statement issued by the Presidential Communications Office.
READ: Marcos names Valenzuela Rep. Gatchalian as DSWD chief
“Cong. Rex will be a very effective DSWD secretary. He knows the needs of [local government units], he communicates well with people from all walks of life, he is a hardworking public servant of many years. He will hopefully bring disaster risk reduction to DSWD as he knows that as congressman, and former mayor of Valenzuela, a vulnerable city,” said Senator Loren Legarda in a statement.
According to Legarda, she and the new social welfare chief worked together when he served as a spokesman for her campaign.
Senator Grace Poe echoed Legarda’s sentiments, expressing confidence in the new secretary, believing that the “DSWD is in good hands with him at the helm.”
“We are fortunate to have worked with Secretary Rex and we saw firsthand how sincere, competent, and committed he is as a public servant,” she said in a separate statement.
Senator Nancy Binay also cited Gatchalian’s experience as a former mayor, calling him a veteran that has been “war-tested”.
“Being a hands-on local chief executive, he knows how to operationalize the range of social welfare services and mechanisms, and his experience and exposure to different ground scenarios are big for the DSWD,” Binay said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Senators Sonny Angara and Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito also released their own statements expressing their confidence in Gatchalian.
“He is a hard worker and a very capable public servant. I believe he will do well as secretary of DSWD,” said Angara.
Ejercito said that he is “sure he will do a good job as DSWD Secretary.”
Gatchalian’s brother, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, also congratulated the new DSWD chief, saying that he had the experience to show for it.
“Pero sa lahat ng qualifications mo—pagiging multi-awarded mayor, congressman, ang pinaka importanteng qualification mo ay single ka. Ibig sabihin 24/7 pwede kang tawagin at gisingin. Congrats!” Gatchalian quipped in a Tweet.
(Of all your qualifications— being a multi-awarded mayor, and congressman, the most important qualification is that you are single. That means 24/7 you can be called at awoken. Congrats!).
The DSWD had said they supported Gatchalian and pledged to work with him to enact the agency’s mission.
“The DSWD community supports the President in appointing Secretary Gatchalian to lead the Department in its pursuit of compassionate public service with respect for human dignity, integrity, and service excellence,” said the agency.
Before Gatchalian’s appointment, former journalist Edu Punay served as the agency’s officer-in-chief after the Commission on Appointments did not confirm former social welfare secretary Erwin Tulfo’s appointment due to a libel conviction and questions about his citizenship.
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