Malacañang confirms the appointment of DSWD Undersecretary Eduardo Punay as officer-in-charge of the agency, adding an announcement will soon be made regarding Secretary Erwin Tulfo, who was twice bypassed by the Commission on Appointments. (Photo from Edu Punay Facebook page)


Metro Manila, Philippines
 — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Eduardo Punay as officer-in-charge (OIC) of the agency, Malacañang confirmed on Tuesday.

Office of the Press Secretary OIC Cheloy Garafil confirmed the development, which came several days after DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo’s designation was bypassed for the second time by the Commission on Appointments (CA).

The CA deferred Tulfo’s appointment due to his four libel convictions as a columnist and questions over his citizenship after he served in the United States military in 1998.

Garafil said an announcement will soon be made regarding the Social Welfare chief.

Earlier this month, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri clarified that Tulfo was still a Cabinet official and that hearings over the latter’s confirmation will continue in 2023 when the CA resumes its session.

Tulfo earlier expressed confidence that Marcos will still reappoint him as the agency’s secretary.

Meanwhile, the DSWD welcomed the new designation of Punay, a former journalist who was earlier named as the department’s undersecretary for special projects.

It said Punay’s designation is “needed to ensure the continuous operations of the agency and that no activities will be derailed or hampered.”

This is especially important for Filipinos requiring assistance after torrential rains pounded parts of the country during the Christmas weekend, the DSWD said.

Punay worked in the news media industry for nearly two decades before announcing earlier this year that he will join the Marcos administration.

“It is truly an honor to be entrusted by PBBM (President Bongbong Marcos) with the task of taking care of people in the industry close to my heart and where I come from, under the leadership of Action Man Sec. Erwin Tulfo,” he said in a social media post in August.