President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has named Valenzuela City First District Rep. Rexlon “Rex” Gatchalian as the new secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Gatchalian took his oath of office before Marcos in Malacañang on Tuesday, January 31, the Presidential Communications Operations Office said.
He was accompanied by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Interior Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr., and Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo Jr. during the oath-taking ceremony.
Gatchalian replaced Erwin Tulfo, who left his post last December after his appointment was bypassed twice by the Commission on Appointments over his libel conviction and his acquisition of American citizenship.
Gatchalian, brother of Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian and Valenzuela City Mayor Weslie Gatchalian, supported Marcos and his running mate, Vice President Sara Duterte, in the 2022 elections.
A former three-term mayor of Valenzuela, he won various awards for his sterling leadership of the city.
Gatchalian, 44, graduated with a degree in political science with secondary fields in marketing and psychology from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
“Mr. President, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be able to serve the country in a much larger capacity,” Gatchalian said on Twitter on Tuesday, after his oath-taking.
“Valenzuelanos, the services of our Congress and district offices will not change,” he wrote. “A caretaker will be appointed by the House of Representatives in the coming days.”
The DSWD welcomed the appointment of Gatchalian.
“The DSWD workforce commits to work with the newly appointed Secretary in ensuring that the mandate of the Department is carried out effectively, efficiently and economically,” the department said in a statement.
“The DSWD community supports the President in appointing Secretary Gatchalian to lead the Department in its pursuit of compassionate public service with respect for human dignity, integrity and service excellence,” it added.
WITH ARIC JOHN SY CUA AND MOISES CRUZ
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