Complaints vs. DSWD Sec. Gatchalian raised at CA hearing | Inquirer News

Complaints vs. DSWD Sec. Gatchalian raised at CA hearing

By: - Reporter / @BPinlacINQ
/ 11:32 AM May 16, 2023

Department of Social Welfare and Development Rex Gatchalian answers query from members of the media during his first press briefing as DSWD Secretary on February 3, 2023 at DSWD Central Office. Noy Morcoso/

Department of Social Welfare and Development Rex Gatchalian answers query from media members during his first press briefing as DSWD Secretary on February 3, 2023 at DSWD Central Office. (File Photo by Noy Morcoso/

MANILA, Philippines — Social Welfare and Development Acting Secretary Rex Gatchalian answered questions and issues against him as he faced the confirmation hearing of the Commission on Appointments (CA) panel in the Senate on Tuesday.

He also aired his side on pending complaints against him at the Ombudsman.


The complaints stemmed from grievances when he was still Valenzuela City mayor.


Senator Imee Marcos asked Gatchalian to explain three pending cases against him during the hearing presided by members of the committee on labor, employment, social welfare, and migrant workers.

The proceeding is a step before the CA approves presidential appointments.

Marcos cited complaints filed by a certain Eriquetta Catayon, who alleged that Gatchalian unlawfully interfered with the affairs of a cooperative, forcibly called a general assembly and elections to replace the complainant, and ordered the cooperative members not to pay their dues.

“It’s still in the fact-finding stage. It never moved. It’s not yet a case but rather, it was a complaint that never moved,” Gatchalian said.

He said the incidents in question happened during his second term as mayor. It involved a cooperative tasked to develop a housing project in Valenzuela City.


“Most of these housing communities, as we know, when we take out the role of the government, there are people who play kings and queens from the inside,” he said partly in Filipino.

Gatchalian explained the local government was initially not involving itself with the cooperative, “but it came to the point that bullies or thugs started to exist from within.”

“And part of our job as mayor was to ensure the public safety and general welfare, so we had to look into it,” he recalled.

Contrary to the claims in the complaints, Gatchalian said the Valenzuela City government, Social Housing and Finance Corporation, Cooperative Development Authority, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government entered into a memorandum of agreement to establish a management council dealing with concerns of the housing community.

“We were just limited to estate management. Ms. Catayong was probably trying to allude to us – the council – interfering in the cooperative’s management. But quite the contrary, we were estate managing. And even up to this day, the estate management agreement and the council is running. We’ve successfully energized the community. They have water in the community now. And the thugs are gone,” he said.

In 2019, Gatchalian addressed the complaints against the city government concerning the Alyansa ng Mamamayan sa Valenzuela (AMVA).

“The complaint is only meant to harass the city officials and dampen their spirit in their commitment to protecting the interest of the constituents of the city, particularly residents who have been victimized by unscrupulous homeowners association officials—as in the case of AMVA,” he said in a statement.

Gatchalian is the brother of Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and incumbent Valenzuela City Mayor Wes Gatchalian.

He was named DSWD Secretary by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. after the original appointee, broadcaster Erwin Tulfo, was bypassed by CA twice.


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