16 August 2017
ACT Teachers Representatives France Castro and Antonio Tinio slammed the Commission on Appointment’s rejection of the appointment of Department of Social and Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo.
“This rejection of Secretary Taguiwalo’s appointment is also a rejection of the reforms she instituted in order to end political patronage in the management of public funds. It is a rejection of the kind of DSWD that genuinely served the poor and marginalized,” said the solons.
“Sec. Judy’s rejection is a tremendous loss for the people for whom she stood as DSWD chief,” Castro lamented. “In the short year of her service, the DSWD championed the poor, women, children, and the Lumad and other indigenous peoples. Sec. Judy called for the resumption of the peace talks towards a negotiated peace settlement that will address the roots of the armed conflict–poverty, landlessness, inaccessibility to services, and inequitable distribution of wealth and resources. Ano na lang mangyayari sa mga adbokasiya at repormang nasimulan ni Ma’am Judy ngayong pinutol ang pamumuno niya sa DSWD?”
“The CA’s refusal to let Sec. Judy remain in her post proves that those instituting reforms in government will not be tolerated by trapos who want public funds distributed in their name, by neoliberals and militarists in the cabinet who are against her advocacies for the poor and stand against martial law and fascism,” said Tinio.
One of the first acts of Taguiwalo as DSWD Secretary is the issuance of Memorandum Circular 9 which enforces the SC ruling on unconstitutionality of the Priority Development Assistance Fund by declaring that referrals from government officials are not integral to the implementation of DSWD’s Protective Services Program. This circular ensures that DSWD’s funds reach the poor and are not used for patronage.
Another is her support for the SSS pension hike, which she actively campaigned for inside the cabinet along with fellow progressives Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano and National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Liza Maza.
Taguiwalo also pushed for the regularization of the thousands of personnel in DSWD who have long been under repeatedly renewed short-term contracts. Last week at the budget deliberations, she also called on Congress to reconsider the billion-peso Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino doleout as well as to increase the DSWD capital outlay for the construction and repair of centers and homes for senior citizens, orphanages, and other social welfare institutions. ###