By Reynard Magtoto
LEGAZPI CITY – The regional department of social welfare and development here in Bicol was saddened but respected Commission on Appointments’ (CA) rejection of Secretary Judy Taguiwalo as department chief.
According to DSWD Bicol Regional Director Arnel Garcia, they were saddened in the decision of CA since Taguiwalo accomplished many despite her short time in service if the basis is her accomplishments as ad interim appointed secretary.
Garcia added that Taguiwalo is close to the communities and to the employees of the department; and has concern in implementing services and programs for the poor.
Taguiwalo had closely worked with DSWD Bicol to ensure quick response and speed up distribution of Emergency Shelter Assistance for Typhoon Nina survivors in the region when the typhoon hit the country in 2016.
She even told Garcia before that she will not neglect Bicol region, “Whatever the plan for Bicol, it is also the plan for the nation.”
DSWD through its Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB) and concerned Field Offices (FOs), provided relief assistance to affected families, distributed food packs and non-food items to help them cope with the disasters.
The Department also provided cash assistance to the affected households through the Emergency Shelter Cash Assistance Program (ESCAP). Under ESCAP, households with partially and totally-damaged houses received P10,000 and P30,000 cash assistance, respectively.
During her dialogue with the typhoon survivors in Naga City last March 26, 2017, Taguiwalo admitted that there are delays in the implementation of ESA and ESCAP to all affected households because of several factors such as validation of qualified beneficiaries especially those in far-flung, remote areas; peace and order situation in certain localities; and, release of budget.
However, she assured that the DSWD is doing its best to fast-track the release of the assistance to the affected households so they can have additional funds to repair their homes as well as their lives.
The Bicol Movement for Disaster Response (BMDR) which had the dialogue with DSWD Sec. Taguiwalo to address the main problem of the people of the Camarines Sur right after Typhoon Nina, extended its gratitude and full support to Taguiwalo despite CA rejection.
“We see the full support, honesty from the secretary of helping and reaching out to the victims of typhoon Nina in Camarines Sur and with that they immediately provide necessary steps to answer the grievances of the people,” said Rona Ricafort, BMDR focal person.
“She deserves to be confirmed as the Secretary of the DSWD as she has all the criteria that uphold to serve the people. W e need a leader who truly knows the situation of the people and who had been with masses and no doubt Sec. Judy is the qualified one,” Ricafort pointed out.
In her short term, Taguiwalo said she was with honest and hard-working DSWD officers and employees who worked together trying to fix visible vulnerabilities or errors in the Department’s system.
“Together we developed and implemented the new core values of the DSWD – Punctual and Compassionate Service, no room for corruption and equal treatment in communities,” Taguiwalo said.
Based on the core values mentioned, Taguiwalo also added that they immediately reconvene during disasters. “Despite our shortcomings we have overcome our efforts to be punctual and compassionate for our services,” she said.
Taguiwalo remained positive despite the CA’s rejection on her nomination as secretary of DSWD. According to her, there are other forms of serving the people.
Meanwhile, DSWD Bicol aims for better social protection program for the poor under the new leadership. They wanted to have a leader who can lead and with heart to serve the poor and will implement programs for the poor. (BaretangBikolnon.com)