Gatchalian wants more experts to improve DSWD services
Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian on Friday said he wants to “enhance” the bureaucracy in his agency by tapping experts inside and out to improve the services to vulnerable sectors.
At his first press conference, Gatchalian said he has started talking with people from the academe, especially those from the University of the Philippines (UP), which he described as having “very good” social welfare and community programs.
He said he already sought the assistance of UP president Danilo Concepcion in his attempt to add more experts in the agency.
“I asked him if he can lead me to experts on social work so we can add more people in our agency. This is not to replace anyone, but to enhance it,” Gatchalian told reporters at the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) central office in Quezon City.
For instance, he said he wants to improve the services at the DSWD’s residential care facilities and halfway houses which shelter members of the vulnerable sector, such as the youth, women, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and senior citizens.
By next week, Gatchalian said he would visit these facilities to see for himself what needs to be improved and to find out what kind of “talents” they will designate in those shelters.
Looking for talents
“Do we have enough professionals to care for the vulnerable sectors there? That’s why I sought the necessary assistance from the people of the academe who can point out to us where the talents are so we can beef up our manning here in the DSWD,” he explained.
Gatchalian believes he is capable in leading the agency, counting his credentials as chief of a city government, although he said he still needs the insights of longtime social workers at the DSWD.
According to the former Valenzuela City mayor, he will designate state social workers to be a part of the DSWD’s decision-making processes “so we can hear their expert opinions” on matters and programs of the agency.
“First of all, they have the institutional and stock knowledge, they were the ones who briefed me on the programs we have so we will listen to them,” Gatchalian said.
“I’ll make sure that I will put them (social workers) in the decision making table so we can hear their opinions on what we have to improve and how we can implement our programs,” he added.
He also pointed out that the DSWD will need to boost its logistics, especially on disaster response which he described as a “logistics game.”
“I probably have the skill sets that I drew from my experience in the local government, but I will not claim that I know everything so that’s why we will lean on the expertise of the bureaucrats of DSWD,” Gatchalian said.
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