Marcos appoints Rex Gatchalian as DSWD chief

Valenzuela City First District Representative Rex Gatchalian is the new secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

(Screenshot from Presidential Communications Office)

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. swore in Gatchalian on Tuesday, Jan. 31, as shown in a video posted by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Tuesday night.

Gatchalian will take over the DSWD position which was held by officer-in-charge Undersecretary Edu Punay for over a month.

In a Twitter post, Gatchalian assured that despite his designation as the DSWD chief, the services in his offices will continue as usual. He said a caretaker will be appointed to his vacated position in the House of Representatives.

He also thanked the President for appointing him in the position, which he tagged as an opportunity to serve the whole nation.

"I just took my oath as head of DSWD. Mr. President, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be able to serve the country in a much larger capacity," he said.

"Valenzuelanos, the services of our Congress and district offices will not change. Tuloy tuloy po ang serbisyo (Services will continue)," he added.

"Please don't worry. Business as usual. A caretaker will be appointed by the House of Representatives in the coming days," he further said.

Before being elected as Valenzuela's First District Representative, Gatchalian also served as mayor of the city from 2013 to 2022.

Under his leadership, Valenzuela was included in the Top 10 Outstanding Local Governance Programs of the Galing Pook Awards in 2021. He also established programs for social protection and disaster response during his term.

Gatchalian graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Political Science at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

The announcement of his designation came on the same day the DSWD was celebrating its 72nd founding anniversary. Although the President led the celebration on Tuesday morning, there was no indication coming from him that he will be appointing a DSWD secretary later in the day.