PCW bats for Taguiwalo as DSWD Secretary; dismayed over uncalled for mockery of her being a solo parent

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) supports the confirmation of the appointment of Dr. Judy M. Taguiwalo as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

DSWD is a member of the PCW Board. We strongly believe that Secretary Taguiwalo’s expertise as a professor of women and development is essential in enriching and engendering top-level policy and program development discourses not only in PCW Board but at the Cabinet level as well. Her academic qualifications as a University of the Philippines professor, social worker, and development expert makes her highly qualified to head the social welfare and development agency.

PCW also expresses grave concern over the incident where a Senator member of the Commission on Appointments (CA) questioned Secretary Taguiwalo on her being a solo parent. We find that particular incident, especially the manner in which it was brought up during an official government function, as uncalled for and in bad taste. While the Senator reportedly told media later that it was meant as a joke and he was sorry if some people were offended; the incident already happened and it was a mockery of a woman’s circumstance as a solo parent as said status has nothing to do with her professional qualifications which should have been the focus of the CA.

“PCW upholds the dignity of solo parents.  We call on everyone to focus on the strengths of solo parents, most of whom are women; making both the work environment and the communities where they live more compassionate and enabling for them to rear their children well.  This would be most helpful instead of condemning them and focusing on the reasons and more often, false generalizations on why they became solo parents,” PCW Chairperson Rhodora M. Bucoy said.

Solo parents as defined under the Solo Parents Welfare Act (R.A. No. 8972) are among the marginalized sectors under the Magna Carta of Women (R.A. No. 9710). The PCW has supported the DSWD and various agencies and solo parent groups in pushing for the amendment of the Solo Parents Welfare Act by expanding the mandated benefits, especially for poor households, and adding safeguards against abusive availments of said benefits.