Incoming DSWD Secretary promises Duterte admin will not hide street dwellers

  • Incoming DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo said the Duterte administration will not be hiding street dwellers
  • Street families were camped in a resort during the state visit of Pope Francis in 2015
  • She says Duterte administration plans to address the root cause of poverty

Incoming Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo vowed that the administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will discontinue the practice of hiding sweet dwellers when foreign dignitaries visit the country.

Taguiwalo, who is a former dean at the University of the Philippines (UP), said she was against the move made by DSWD to hold families living on the streets of Manila to a resort outside the capital when Pope Francis visited last January 2015.

“I don’t think the incoming president is going to hide the urban poor communities [when] international dignitaries are here. Ayaw na ayaw namin yun. Nung dumating ang Papa dinadala sa resort. Hindi natin gusto yan dahil nagpapanggap tayo. [We really do not want that. When the Pope came, they were brought to a resort. We do not want that because we would be pretending],” she told ABS-CBN News.

In addition, Taguiwalo says that as DSWD secretary, she would help the Duterte administration address the root cause of poverty, noting that although the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program has earned positive feedback from some quarters, it is still a temporary solution.

“What we want to look at is the implementation. There are reports of selectivity. Not everyone who really needs the program are being reached. There is still an element of patronage there. We also want to check if it is being used to campaign as well as used for anti-insurgency,” she said,

Taguiwalo calls the CCT program “bridging program” for the “poorest of the poor” until they would be able to have a stable income.

She also promises to strengthen collaboration among the DSWD, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Housing Authority (NHA), and local government units to address the issue of homelessness.