“We have focused on streamlining DSWD’s assistance programs such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), distributing educational assistance to students returning to face-to-face classes.”
I cannot blame some government officials who say public service is a “thankless job.” Now, I understand but, still, I do not share the same sentiment.
If you’re doing such a good job, there are those who perceive your impressive performance as preparation for plans to run for political office in the near future.
Yet once you miss out on your assigned task, the same people would not waste time to blame the appointing authority for choosing you, an “inept public servant.”
As Eleanor Roosevelt is often quoted as saying, “Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
In June following the elections, I was truly elated by the honor of being named to the Official Family of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. (PBBM).
For over 30 years, I have continuously rendered my own brand of public service as did my brothers, extending various forms of assistance to people from all walks of life who found their way to my little Quezon City office.
I was overjoyed by the President’s offer for me to be the Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which I readily accepted as “a challenge.”
Actually, I saw it as an opportunity to serve on a national scale with the enormous government resources.
I could reach out and help more people than I ever did at the Erwin Tulfo Action Center which I maintained alongside my broadcast journalism career.
In our own small way, my indefatigable staff and I have helped tens of thousands of fellow Filipinos, mostly poor who could hardly put food on the table.
Others were those ignored and left helpless by red-tape in seeking aid at government agencies.
There were also those victims of injustice by the rich and powerful and abuses by persons of authority.
Through the years of providing public assistance in my private capacity, it never occurred to me to run for elective office.
I enjoyed and I thrived on working for various national daily newspapers, radio and television networks in which field I have a natural talent.
Having reached the peak of my career in my prime, I just did not see any elective office or any Cabinet post as being more glamorous or “more powerful” than being a field reporter, news anchor, a commentator and a columnist.
Unfortunately, some losers see it in a totally different light, as talks are rife in social media about me possibly running for senator in 2025 or 2028.
There is nothing farther from my mind than vying for elective post in the next elections which to me is just another contrived issue to create intrigue within PBBM administration.
In fact, I rejected an invitation from a major political party to be included in their senatorial slate despite my impressive showing in surveys on senatoriables in 2016 elections.
The Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Partylist asked me to be their first nominee in the 2019 mid-term elections which I declined.
In the May 2022 polls, the ACT-CIS again wanted me to be their first nominee but I courteously refused just the same.
Also in the last elections, a Quezon City group offered to support me to run for QC’s second district House seat; I similarly begged off in favor of my nephew Ralph Tulfo, who won the post.
I simply do not see myself engaged in politics or legislative work at the Senate or Congress, following the footsteps of my brother Senator Raffy Tulfo.
“Idol Raffy” himself did not see a shift to politics until recent years when he realized he can push his agenda for reforms, particularly in the areas of family laws, anti-crime and anti-poverty laws as an “independent voice” in the Higher Chamber.
Well, I am privileged to get things done my own way at DSWD, thanks to PBBM’s trust and confidence.
Our first 100 days have been devoted mostly to relief operations which were hectic, frantic, and at times chaotic amid successive calamities that hit the country’s various regions.
We have focused on streamlining DSWD’s assistance programs such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), distributing educational assistance to students returning to face-to-face classes.
In cooperation with the Public Attorney’s Office, we are going after deadbeat fathers and mothers who abandoned and neglected their children.
We are extremely busy at DSWD to help the PBBM leadership to break the cycle of poverty, and I simply have no time for politics.