IN PHOTOS: Judy Taguiwalo during crisis situations
MANILA, Philippines – “I have served the people well and I gave my all, and I’m proud to say that my integrity is intact.”
This was how former social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo reacted to the Commission on Appointment’s rejection of her ad interim appointment on Wednesday, August 16.
The retired University of the Philippine professor and known activist served the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for a little over a year by promoting “serbisyong may malasakit” (compassionate service) as a guiding principle of the agency.
In her one year in office, Taguiwalo headed operations in several emergency situations involving disasters from Typhoons Lawin and Nina, to the strong Surigao earthquake in February this year.
Her biggest challenge as DSWD chief was providing immediate response to Marawi City residents who were displaced due to figting between the government forces and terrorists.
At least 400,000 individuals were forced to flee Marawi when the siege began on May 23.
The DSWD distributed food packs, hygiene kits, plastic mats, bottled water amounting to at least P294 million for internally displaced persons (IDPs) staying in evacuation centers. (READ: What evacuees can expect from gov't when they return to Marawi)
They were also given P5,000 worth of financial aid from the government. Civil society leaders, however, criticized the delay in the release of the cash grant due to difficulty of providing documentary evidences as proof of their IDP status.
Tents to decongest evacuation centers and safe spaces for women and children were also set up.
During her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Taguiwalo said that the DSWD turned over the response operations to Task Force Bangon Marawi as it starts the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the war-torn city.
Under Taguiwalo, the DSWD released more than P223.87 million worth of relief assistance in 2016.
On February 13, Taguiwalo visited victims of the magnitude 6.7 earthquake in Suriago. She also flew to Batangas on April 8, and Leyte on July 9, to monitor the relief operations there. A magnitude 6 earthquake shook Batangas province while a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Leyte this year.
The agency provided P103 million worth of emergency shelter assistance to some 10,000 quake survivors who lost their homes. P1.5 million worth of relief packages were given to Batangas quake survivors while 39 injured individuals in Leyte received P293,700 worth of financial assistance to cover hospital expenses.
During Taguiwalo's watch, the agency served a total of 9,476 overseas Filipino workers who came home from Saudi Arabia. They were given financial assistance worth P5,000, food and hygiene packs and psychosocial support. (READ: Duterte brings home 138 stranded OFWs from Saudi)