Duterte won't hide street dwellers: incoming DSWD chief

ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The incoming administration of President Rodrigo Duterte will not hide street dwellers when foreign dignitaries visit the Philippines, the incoming social welfare chief said Friday.

Speaking to radio DZMM, incoming social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo said she does not agree with moves to bring street families to a resort outside Manila during the Pope's visit last January 2015.

"I don't think the incoming president is going to hide the urban poor communities [when] international dignitaries are here. Ayaw na ayaw namin yun," she said.

She added: "Nung dumating ang Papa dinadala sa resort. Hindi natin gusto yan dahil nagpapanggap tayo."

Taguiwalo, a victim of human rights during the martial law period, said the Duterte administration is intent on addressing the root causes of poverty in the country.

She pointed out that while the conditional cash transfer program has gained positive feedback from many quarters, it is still a temporary solution to the problem of poverty.

"What we want to look at is the implementation. There are reports of selectivity. Not everyone who really needs the program are being reached. There is still an element of patronage there. We also want to check if it is being used to campaign as well as used for anti-insurgency," she said.

Taguiwalo said the CCT is just a "bridging program" that seeks to assist the "poorest of the poor" until they find stable sources of income. Part of the funds allocated for the CCT could be used for income-generation, she said.

She said the Department of Social Welfare and Development will work closely with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, local government units and the National Housing Authority to help the homeless.

She will also ask the University of the Philippines to help map out the areas where street families and urban poor communities reside.

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