Taguiwalo: I’m leaving DSWD with my heart full of love

Patty Pasion

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Taguiwalo: I’m leaving DSWD with my heart full of love
DSWD employees officially say good-bye to outgoing social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo on Tuesday, August 22

MANILA, Philippines – Employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) started their week on Tuesday, August 22, in a somber mood.

The gloomy atmosphere due to the rains of tropical storm Isang was a fitting backdrop for the the workers’ sentiments as they officially said goodbye to outgoing social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo. She was leaving DSWD after she was rejected by the Commission on Appointments last August 16. 

Speeches of appreciation delivered by members of the department’s executive committees, song numbers rendered by the staff and flowers from employees handed with kisses from their children punctuated the emotional Tuesday morning for the agency.

“Aalis na ako with [my] heart full sa pag-ibig talaga (I will leave with my heart full of love),” Taguiwalo said as she opened her last address to the employees in her last appearance as an official during the agency’s flag-raising ceremony. 

Photo from DSWD Social Marketing Service

While the 67-year-old retired university professor reminded the employees of the many work that has yet to be completed, she urged them to protect the budget from vested interests as deliberations continue. 

“Sinikap ko na protektahan ang departamento natin sa mga vested interest… whether this is in aid of reelection, sinikap ko ‘yan, alam niyo ,yan, alam niyo ‘yan. Within and outside the department ang pera ng bayan, ang pera ng mga mamayan ay para sa kanila,” she said. 

(I worked hard to protect the department from vested interests… whether this is in aid of reelection, I worked hard for it. You know that, you know that. Within and outside the department, the state funds, the money of the citizens are for them.) 

She also encouraged the employees to be radical social workers and go beyond just giving assistance to the poor but also helping them to uplift their conditions. 



“Alam niyo ba ang ibig sabihin ng radical? Ang ibig sabihin ng radical, puntahan niyo ang roots. Huwag kayong magkasya sa sintomas lang. Huwag kayong magkasya sa financial assistance, sa cash assistance lang,” she said. 

(Do you know what radical means? Radical means going to the roots. Don’t be contented with knowing the symptoms. Don’t be contended with financial assistance and cash assistance.) 

“While we accept the fact that we are really the ones addressing the symptoms like Biogesic, we should go beyond [it] and [address] what causes extensive poverty,” she added in a mix of English and Filipino. 

President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to pick the next secretary of the department. Undersecretary Emmanuel Leyco was assigned to be the officer-in-charge of the agency in the meantime. – Rappler.com


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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.