CA rejects the appointment of DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo

UNTV News   •   August 17, 2017   •   6032

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_081617_ Joel Almario 2

 

MANILA, Philippines — The majority of the 24-member Commission on Appointments (CA) did not approve the appointment of Judy Taguiwalo as  secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Taguiwalo chose to stay at the plenary to hear the decision of the CA after facing two hearings on her confirmation.

The number of votes was not mentioned, but some senators have expressed support for Taguiwalo including Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Juan Edgardo Angara, Loren Legarda, and several Liberal Party senators.

Zubiri said Taguiwalo was unlike other appointees as she did not represent a political party and was not a politician. “The only thing in her heart is to help the poor,” he added.

The former DSWD Secretary, on the other hand,  expressed gratitude to lawmakers who supported her.

Taguiwalo said she stood firm against pork barrel and the tax reform bill, which she said, may be the reason behind the rejection of her appointment.

“I really have a stand against pork barrel, and I stood against that directly,” said Taguiwalo.  “Second is the issue on policy differences about the public whether it be the Tax Reform Bill, Free Tuition for Universities, additional SSS pension or gratuity pay for our workers.”

Before the decision of the bicameral body, her alleged link with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) resurfaced again.

Taguiwalo initially denied the rumors but admitted she was recommended by the NDFP to President Rodrigo Duterte for the said DSWD position.

“I have never participated in any of the meetings of government panel and the NDF.  I look at my work at the DSWD as part of efforts of the Duterte administration to bring services to the people,”she said.

The hearing also tackled anew the budget for the DSWD and the implementation of the cash transfer program.

In the confirmation hearing, some members of the CA questioned the ability of the DSWD to implement the said program next year.

Taguiwalo is the third cabinet member of the Duterte administration rejected by the CA.

First was former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay and second was Environment Secretary Gina Lopez.

For its part, Malacañang was saddened by CA’s rejection of Taguiwalo as she had served the Duterte administration with dedication, professionalism and integrity.

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said, the president is now searching for the Secretary’s  replacement. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News and Rescue

DSWD assures assistance to bereaved family of staff who was found dead in Bulacan

Freema Gloria   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has extended its condolences to the family of its employee who went missing and was later found dead in Bulacan.

The agency assured the bereaved family of necessary assistance to cope with their situation.

Justine Charles Accad, an employee of the DSWD-Field Office National Capital Region, went missing on February 19 and was found dead two days later, his body stuffed inside a sack and abandoned in a grassy lot in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

The department is currently coordinating with the proper authorities for the investigation of the case, allaying fears of agency personnel —especially disbursing officers — that it continues to put a premium on their safety and interest.

The DSWD said, it recognizes the efforts of field workers to deliver the necessary assistance to program beneficiaries despite threats to their health and safety and vows to provide more protection for their employees to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Meanwhile, the field office has processed the burial and financial assistance for the family, as well as the transportation assistance for the mother of Accad who will be travelling from Zamboanga City to Manila.

The department has promised to continue providing assistance to Accad’s family as they go through this difficult period.

DSWD ready to aid areas affected by Taal Volcano unrest

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it is ready to provide aid to the local government units in need of assistance due to Taal Volcano’s renewed unrest.

In a statement, the DSWD said its field office in Region IV-A has more than P2.6 million worth of family food packs (FFPs) and over P8.5 million worth of available relief supplies for repacking. It also has more than P8.3 million standby funds that can be used to procure additional emergency relief supplies.

“The FO has also placed its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) under heightened alert to monitor volcanic activities and to provide technical assistance to municipalities that will require assistance,” according to the DSWD.

Meanwhile, the department urged residents in areas near the Taal Volcano to be vigilant and to strictly follow the orders of local authorities for their own safety. AAC

Senate may pass COVID-19 vaccine indemnification bill next week — Zubiri

Robie de Guzman   •   February 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate may approve next week a bill that seeks to establish a P500-million national indemnity fund that will be used to compensate any inoculated person who might experience a severe adverse effect, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said Wednesday.

During the Laging Handa briefing, Zubiri said the measure may be ratified on Monday if Malacañang will issue a certification of urgency to expedite its passage.

“Hopefully, we can ratify this by Monday next week, ibibigay po namin ito sa Malacañang for the signature of the president. Hopefully, by the end of the month, maging batas na ito kung pirmahan agad ni president,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier expressed readiness to certify as urgent the passage of bills creating an indemnification agreement and advance market commitment to speed up COVID-19 negotiations and deliveries.

An indemnification clause refers to the agreement reached between stakeholders identifying the party that would take responsibility in case those receiving the jabs experienced adverse side effects.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said he has been communicating with lawmakers to fast-track the pending bills.

“Para po magkaroon ng proteksyon ang ating DOH personnel and at the same time yung manufacturer from any possible law suit considering that yung pagpunta ng vaccine dito ay under clinical trial number 3 o tinatawag nating emergency use authorization only,” he said.

Zubiri said the Senate was supposed to pass Senate Bill 2057 on second reading on Tuesday but it was deferred due to the absence of resource persons who could provide answers regarding the matter.

The measure proposes to authorize the Department of Health and the National Task Force Against COVID-19 to undertake negotiated procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as necessary supplies and services related to the immunization program by allowing local government units (LGUs) and private entities to directly procure COVID-19 vaccines with their own funds, provided that they do so within a tripartite mechanism with the DOH and the NTF-COVID-19.

The measure also seeks to establish a COVID-19 National Indemnity Fund to compensate any person who has been vaccinated and experiences serious adverse side effects or even death.

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