Co-Sponsorship Speech: Confirmation of the Ad-Interim Appointment of Rexlon Ting GatchalianMay 16, 2023
Confirmation of the Ad-Interim Appointment of
Rexlon Ting Gatchalian
as Secretary of the
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
Session Hall, Senate of the Philippines
16 May 2023
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the Commission on Appointments,
I have the honor of co-sponsoring the confirmation of the ad interim appointment of Rexlon Ting Gatchalian as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
As we all know, the DSWD plays a crucial role in the provision of social services and programs that promote the welfare of our marginalized sectors – the homeless, the hungry, the orphans, the abused women and children, the elderly, the disabled, individuals in crisis situations, and indigenous peoples, among others.
There are millions of them. According to Social Weather Station (SWS) survey conducted in the first quarter of 2023, around 14 million households – or half of Filipino families – consider themselves poor. The same survey showed that the number of families who consider themselves to be food-poor rose from 34% in December 2022 to 39% in March 2023.
Thus, the appointment of a capable, dedicated, and sincere leader who can empower the marginalized and liberate them from the vicious cycle of poverty, abuse, disasters, and deprivation of opportunities, is what this august chamber must guarantee.
Mr. Chairman, I believe Rex Gatchalian has the skills, the competence, and the heart for this position. He has an impressive track record in public service. He has served nine years as Valenzuela’s Local Chief Executive and six years as District Representative.
In such capacity, he implemented various programs that have improved the lives of his constituents. In fact, three (3) of the city’s programs made it to the Top 10 Outstanding Local Governance Programs during the 2021 Galing Pook Awards – the “Valenzuela Live” for digital learning; “Tagalag Fishing Village” for livelihood and eco-tourism; and the “Paspas Permit” online business permit application platform.
The City earned other several recognitions under Rex Gatchalian’s leadership. These awards profess the city’s efficient health and social protection policies, fruitful employment and MSME development programs, economic accountability, innovative preparedness and livability, and sound implementation of peace and order advocacies.
Mr. Chairman, Rex has been in the trenches – the boots on the ground. He may not have experienced poverty firsthand, but his leadership as Valenzuela City’s local chief executive has made him aware of its realities. He gets things moving. He trumps red tape by speeding things up. He works with people who are as competent as he is.
We have seen these qualities in action when he swiftly responded to the recent MT Princess Empress oil spill in Oriental Mindoro which spread through Palawan and my province of Antique. Just after three (3) weeks in the position of DSWD Secretary, he rolled up his sleeves by promptly carrying out the cash-for-work (CFW) program to aid residents affected by the oil spill. Food packs, emergency cash transfers, and temporary means of livelihood were provided, leaving no one behind.
Mr. Chairman, his appointment is a testament to the government’s commitment to addressing the pressing issues of poverty and inequality in our country. I am confident that his leadership will bring positive changes to the DSWD and to the lives of Filipino people. It is therefore my honor to support and join the sponsor in moving for the confirmation of the ad interim appointment of Rexlon Ting Gatchalian as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
I so move, Mr. Chairman.