President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has appointed Valenzuela City Representative Rex Gatchalian as the new Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Gatchalian, in a Facebook post, shared some photos of his oath-taking ceremony before the President last January 31.
“Mr. President, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be able to serve the country in a much larger capacity,” he said.
Among his priorities as the new DSWD chief, according to Gatchalian, are to streamline social services and to improve the logistics for relief operations.
Gatchalian was the mayor of Valenzuela City for three consecutive terms before returning to the House of Representatives as an unopposed candidate in the 2022 elections. He is the brother of Senator Sherwin Gathalian and Valenzuela City Mayor Wes Gatchalian.
A caretaker lawmaker will be soon appointed by the lower chamber for Gatchalian’s vacated post pending the holding of a special election, according to House Speaker Martin Romualdez.
Prior to Gatchalian’s appointment, the DSWD has been headed by former journalist and the agency’s Undersecretary Eduardo Punay as its officer-in-charge following broadcaster Erwin Tulfo’s resignation.
To recall, Tulfo’s confirmation was bypassed twice by the Commission on Appointments due to questions about his citizenship and a libel conviction.
Thumbnail photo courtesy Rex Gatchalian’s official Facebook page