President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. wants the distribution of aid through the Department of Social Welfare and Development digitized to make it faster, DSWD Secretary-designate Erwin Tulfo said Tuesday.
Tulfo also said he will prioritize the country’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery and hasten the distribution of financial aid and relief goods during calamities once he takes over as Social Welfare Secretary.
“He wants to digitalize the distribution of aid from the DSWD so that it would be faster,” the veteran broadcaster said in a public briefing.
Tulfo called on the public, particularly his critics, to judge him based on his performance as DSWD chief after six months.
He said he may let somebody else lead DSWD if he could not function well within this timeframe.
In a related development, Marcos Jr. will not have an official spokesperson, his incoming Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Tuesday.
“Our President-elect has not designated a spokesperson. He said he would face the media himself,” Cruz-Angeles, who will head the Presidential Communications Operations Office, told TeleRadyo’s “On the Spot” in Filipino.
“We don’t know yet how often [the President-elect will hold press conferences], but I think there are some issues where he prefers to deal with himself,” she said.
“For the rest, what we’re doing is to bring out the information, provide the clarification,” the erstwhile blogger added.
She said Marcos has yet to name Cabinet secretaries to key departments due to the deluge of applicants.
The incoming Press Secretary added she has also yet to choose her undersecretaries and other officials of the PCOO.
“A lot of candidates are applying. A lot of them are well qualified,” she said. “My nightmare is choosing among these brilliant people. We really are having a difficult time.”
At the DSWD, Tulfo said Marcos Jr. told him to “clean” the list of beneficiaries at the agency to ensure those receiving financial aid or relief goods were qualified.
“Those who should no longer be there must be removed, and the list should be compared with that of the LGU, particularly the barangay, to determine who really needs aid so that it does not go to waste. Those who did receive aid would get some now,” he said in Filipino.
Interviewed on Unang Balita a day after his nomination was announced, Tulfo pointed out that he wants to expedite the allocation of aid to calamity-stricken areas so that people would no longer have to wait 24 hours or more.
“We will focus on speeding up the arrival of aid and relief goods when there are typhoons or calamities. But the marching order of our president-elect is to address this problem not with the pandemic, but the pandemic recovery. That includes the help from DSWD,” he said.
DSWD implements social welfare and development policies and programs and as such, is one of the top 10 agencies that receive the biggest allocation in the national budget.
Of his critics, Tulfo said: “You cannot please everybody. What I’m asking is for them to judge me based on my performance after six months to one year,” he said.
“They can criticize me if I do not perform well in six months. Or if I cannot deliver in six months to one year, then I guess I have to step down and let somebody else run this department,” he added.