DAVAO CITY – Days after President Rodrigo Duterte signed her appointment papers, newly-named Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Luzviminda Ilagan vowed to continue programs initiated by former Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, a fellow activist.
Ilagan, a former Gabriela party-list Representative, stressed the importance of continuing efforts by Taguiwalo, especially those catering to the poor.
Taguiwalo had left her post in August after she was rejected by the Commission on Appointments. Duterte has yet to name a replacement.
"Nakita man gyud natu ang dedikasyon ni Judy unsa gyud kakugihan ang iyahang pagtrabaho so angay ipadayon na. Unfortunately, wala lang siya na-confirm sa Commission on Appointments. Sa karon, dili man pud logical nga molihis sa mandatu sa DSWD," Ilagan said.
(We saw how dedicated and hardworking Judy was, so I want to continue her legacy. Unfortunately, the Commission on Appointments did not confirm her. For now, it would not be logical to deviate from the DSWD's mandate.)
Duterte appointed Ilagan, his fellow Davao native, to the DSWD post on Sept. 13. She is a staunch supporter of the President, coming to his defense when the then President-elect drew flak for catcalling a female journalist in May last year.
Ilagan had served as Davao City Councilor upon the appointment of the late former President Corazon Aquino in 1986, when Duterte was the appointed Davao City Vice Mayor.
She was elected to the same post in 1998, but lost her return bid when she again ran for councilor in 2016.