Press Release
May 16, 2023


Thank you, dear colleagues. Back in 2016, the good nominee served as my spokesperson. Today, it is my pleasure to be one of his spokespersons.

Mabuti na lang at hindi siya mahirap i-kampanya. Dito pa lang sa Senado, he has at least three command votes: this representation, si Senator Win Gatchalian, of course, and Senator Loren who has spoken highly of our nominee.

That being said, Mr. Chairman, this 25-member body is not his constituency. It would be the 14 million poor Filipinos for whom the DSWD can provide a leg-up. He must also feed 1.68 million malnourished children; administer pensions to 3.3 million indigent senior citizens; and distribute cash to 8.3 million Pantawid beneficiaries and individuals in crisis. Wala pa diyan ang mga biktima ng "DDT", or "Disasters, Displacement, and Trafficking."

Tulad ng Gatchalian lechon, medyo nakaka high-blood ang pagiging kalihim ng DSWD. Fortunately, the nominee does not crack under pressure. There's no better proof than his performance during the pandemic. As the "frontliner-in-chief," Valenzuela City was able to rapidly distribute ayuda, roll out Covid vaccines, and establish quarantine facilities. No wonder he received a 92% approval rating from his fellow Valenzuelaños.

His success can be attributed to his eye for streamlining and innovation. He has a passion for trimming the fat and unclogging the arteries of bureaucracy. In fact, I don't think he has warmed his seat in the DSWD yet he has been busy slashing red tape, digitizing processes, and improving frontline services.

Speaking of innovation, it was Mayor Rex Gatchalian who revolutionized the "central kitchen" mode of implementing the school-based feeding program. Hanggang ngayon, Valenzuela pa rin ang model city. He also took the lead in making Valenzuela City greener and more pedestrian-friendly. "Impossible" is not in his vocabulary.

Most importantly, Secretary Gatchalian is as humble, approachable, and genuine as the young man who campaigned for FPJ in 2004. Wala po siyang ka-ere-ere at madaling malapitan sa ano mang oras. Despite being in power for more than a decade, never siyang naging "plastic king."

Saksi po ako sa katapatan, kasipigan at dedikasyon sa paglilingkod ni Secretary Gatchalian. His track record, humility, and passion for efficiency and innovation makes him the ideal person to lead the DSWD. Nararapat lamang na ikumpirma natin siya upang mapagpatuloy niya ang pagbibigay ng "REXponsableng Serbisyo, hatid sa bawat Pilipino."

With that, it is my honor to support the confirmation of the appointment of Rex Gatchalian as Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary. Salamat po.

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