National Call for the Appointment of a Social Worker/ Development Worker as DSWD Secretary

National Call for the Appointment of a Social Worker/ Development Worker as DSWD Secretary

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Eduard Colod started this petition to President of the Republic of the Philippines President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

AN APPEAL FOR RECONSIDERATION FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A SOCIAL WORKER/ DEVELOPMENT WORKER TO BE THE NEXT DSWD SECRETARY

We respect the authority of the President to appoint by virtue of his trust and confidence any person he deems to be fit in his Cabinet, nevertheless, may we express our deep reservation on the appointment of a Military Official as DSWD Secretary due to its implications:

1. Social services (welfare and development services) is the bridge between the government and the people particularly the masses; the appointment of a Military Official may result into misplaced fears and unrests to some sectors that DSWD serves regardless of political affiliation and ideological views, especially among those critical to the current administration;

2. A Social Worker is most fit on the said position as it is his/ her professional expertise and forte; Social Work as a recognized profession in the global community employs a broad range of professional knowledge and skills, nomenclature, social technology, and a professional viewpoint on the handling of social welfare and development services thus more at par of being a DSWD Secretary;

3. It may send a wrong message about government, this may be seen as a "militarization of our government" which indirectly violates the principle that "civilian authority is supreme over the military" and may raise concerns on whether or not democratic institutions are threatened. Gabriella Partylist Representative Emmi de Jesus have already described such looming appointment on her own point of view expressing fears that groups such as NGOs seeking accreditation that are critical to the government and red-tagged may be denied and thus be unable to continue delivering social services to the poor, marginalized, disadvantaged, and vulnerable families and communities;

4.The DSWD as the "Mother Agency of Social Workers" has gone through many changes especially in the recent pass. Secretaries from all sorts of professions. Many were Social Workers, some were Doctors, another was a Psychologist, another was the wife of a Human Rights Lawyer, one was an Economist who later became a President and others or all were engaged in social welfare and development work in one way or another. The current change in the DSWD leadership is however totally different. DSWD have never had a military man at the helm. We have nothing against ex PSG and Army head Lt. Gen. Rolando Bautista. We always welcome change, if it is for the good of the Filipino people and the DSWD public.However, we are apprehensive about what this change apparently means. We have many qualified social workers and social development workers. Why a war veteran general?

The DSWD workforce and its allies in the private sector is dedicated to serving our people and will continue to do so. Moreover, with resolution, we will continue to protect and advance the integrity, principles and interest of the Social Welfare and Development Sector. As public servants, and as DSWD workers, we shall steadfastly endeavor to be true and loyal to our commitment to uphold and fight for human rights, civil liberties, social justice, and the Filipino people’s overall social development.

With this, we hope that the President reconsiders his decision and appoint someone else that has vast experience, interest, and passion on serving the people in the parlance of social welfare and development. We believe that Lieutenant General Rolando Bautista will be more fit to serve on other agencies with programs and services that are in line with his background as a Military Official.

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