Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Ms. Daphne Oseña-Paez with Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian

Event PCO Press Briefing with DSWD

 MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Magandang umaga Malacañang Press Corps at welcome sa ating press briefing ngayong araw, May 23.

May bagong programa ang Department of Social Welfare and Development kasunod nang pagkakalagda ni Pangulong Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. sa Executive Order No. 27 o ang reorganization sa Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger. The program aims to alleviate hunger and poverty for families belonging to the lowest income bracket.

And to give us more details on the food stamp program, we have DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian. Good morning, Secretary Gatchalian.

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: Good morning. Maraming salamat and before I go into the details of the program, I’d to put it in context in relation to the new executive order on hunger. Let me just read the prepared statement by the Department:

Magandang umaga.

With the restructuring of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger, we assured of a stronger and more efficient system and mechanism to mitigate hunger and poverty in the country. This is also part of our commitment to the United Nations sustainable development goals in attaining the “Ambisyon Natin 2040”.

In line with this development, I’m proud to present to you the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s new program that will provide food augmentation to poor families, also known as “Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program.” The program is anchored with the Philippine Development Agenda 2023-2028 of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in addressing both hunger and poverty, and more particularly with alleviating the incidence of involuntary hunger among the Filipino families belonging to the lowest bracket income as identified and stated in the recent DSWD Listahanan 3.

The “Walang Gutom 2027” aims to provide electronic benefit transfers that will be loaded with food credits amounting to 3,000 pesos to purchase a select list of food commodities from DSWD accredited local retailers.

The “Walang Gutom 2027” intends to target the bottom one million households from Listahanan 3 who belong to the food-poor criteria as defined by the Philippine Statistics Authority. We believed that this program will properly address the gaps and assist its beneficiaries in attaining the recommended food and energy consumption needed for each member to perform their daily tasks and routines that has direct and indirect contribution to human capitalization and a direct positive impact towards nation building. In other words, by meeting the daily food requirements of its target beneficiaries, the said program will sufficiently mitigate hunger due to extreme poverty.

Lastly, the DSWD hopes that through “Walang Gutom 2027” the country will be able to combat hunger and achieve food security towards the realization of a zero hunger Philippines.

Maraming salamat!

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Now, we’re open for questions. Ivan Mayrina, GMA-7.

IVAN MAYRINA/GMA7: Sec, is this conditional?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: Yes. Ivan, when I joined the DSWD, we said that we wanna recalibrate every single thing that we do there to turn it developmental. To make it developmental, four things have to happen: One, it should be targeted. It’s not a shotgun that everybody, even iyong hindi nangangailangan ay makakatanggap. We target those that needed the most; two, it should be conditional; three, it should be measurable; and four, there should be clear exit mechanisms so that it doesn’t turn into one program on top of another program.

In the case of the food stamps, ang plano natin diyan like I said it’s targeted because we’ve already identified the one million food-poor families – these are families that do not make beyond 8,000 pesos according to the PSA – 8,000 pesos monthly. So that’s the target side of it.

It’s conditional. Similar to other food stamp programs, there will be a work component to it. Ang argumento kasi ngayon ‘di ba, kapag gutom ang isang indibidwal, hindi siya maka-participate, hindi siya makatrabaho – kulang iyong caloric intake; so kung hindi siya makapagtrabaho, hindi siya produktibong mamamayan ng ating bansa.

So ang gagawin natin dito, we will supplement the family’s intake so that mawala iyong feeling of hunger, thereby makahanap siya ng trabaho and thereby they become part of the workforce of the country. Ang kondisyon nga doon is, when you’re signed up, you have to go to your nearest Public Employment [Service] Office (PESO), get a certification that you are now being counted as part of the workforce. No matter what job it is; alam naman natin iba-ibang skill sets, iba-ibang angkop na trabaho pero ang importante nagtatrabaho ka na.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sec, paano iyong funding nito, saan siya manggagaling because yesterday, the President said that the food stamp program is just still on the pipeline; in partnership with the ADB?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: Tama iyon, it’s a very good question. Let me just step one-step backwards, saan nanggaling ito. Remember the President’s dream during the campaign was to end hunger. Ang pangarap niya, “Walang Pilipinong pamilya dapat natutulog ng gutom,” that’s why we made this bold statement – “Walang Gutom 2027”. We want it to be the President’s legacy that right before he steps out of office, wala nang Pilipinong gutom.

As he evolves the economy into higher yielding jobs, we have to make sure that we’re making the right human capital investments so that they can partake of those jobs that are being generated. Kasi ‘di ba, we don’t want it to be a scenario wherein the President is evolving the economy, evolving the type of jobs that’s being generated pero a million Filipino families cannot partake of that fruit of that economic change. We want it to be inclusive.

So, tama ka, it’s still in the design stage because what’s happening right now is we are working with the World Food Program who has vast technical expertise when it comes to running food stamp programs worldwide, and then the ADB was kind enough to provide close to three million US Dollars for the six months pilot that will run in the middle part of this year towards the latter part of this year.

So this year, we’re in the design and piloting stage. What does that mean? In every large scale program, you don’t want to launch it without studying it and going through the details. So we’ve identified five pilot sites coming from different geopolitical characteristics: Mayroon tayo in the BARMM area, what used to be a former conflict area; two, geographically isolated regions or provinces; three, in urban poor settings; and four will be calamity stricken areas; and the fifth will be rural poor.

So we have to make sure that iyong konteksto ng programa will be designed na naaangkop sa bawat lugar, kasi what might work for one may not work for the other. But the general framework should be the same – access to nutritious, delicious and affordable food for every single Filipino family.

So the remainder part of the six months fully funded by grants from the ADB. That’s why the President opened it yesterday in ADB and we are thankful, the DSWD is very thankful to the technical support and grant support that the ADB has extended to us.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: So with that, sir, could you walk us through the timeline, sir? Kailan ang start ng pilot testing and when do we expect it to launch nationwide?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: Yeah. Well, first things first, we are in the design stage. As we speak right now, mayroon na tayong first draft ng design and we will spend the remaining months of May and June in the design stage. We all know that the devil will be in the details and we have hired multiple consultants in the department to take a second look at what’s being designed para may check and balance.

Noteworthy will be Professor [Dr. Roehlano] Briones of PIDS (Philippine Institute for Development Studies) who is a known hunger and poverty expert. He has volunteered to jump-on as a consultant of the department para whatever is being produced na design in those right shops will be given a second glance. I just don’t have his first name, I call him—Roel I think, Roel Briones. Also, we are working with PSA’s in-house poverty expert who is their Usec – Usec. Dennis Mapa – he is helping us craft the concept there.

So, the remaining May and June, we will work with designing it. Now, July to December will be the pilot run for those regions that we’ve identified. We actually have the municipalities but we just wanna vet them properly.

And then we have to also work with the economic team on trying to package the economic side of it or the financing side of it. So hopefully, next year we get to do the run, the actual run – early part, first quarter of next year. But we have to point out ha that we will not also do it simultaneous one million – that’s trouble waiting to happen. We have to do it in a progressive manner, we have to do the pilot at 3,000 families; 300,000 hopefully next year sa first run; another 300,000 right after and then hopefully reach the magic number of one million on the succeeding year.

But all throughout that program, we will continuously measure and we’ll keep on measuring the beneficiaries.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Maricel Halili, TV 5.

MARICEL HALILI/TV 5: Hi, sir, magandang umaga po. Sir, paano natin masisiguro na sa pagkain lang magagastos iyong 3,000?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: It’s a very excellent question and I will now borrow the President’s line, “We use food as currency” – meaning the digital cards kasi that will be given to them, let me just point out that this is also in tune with the President’s drive na digitalization. Baka iniisip natin these are like your manual food stamps na manu-mano – no more. We’re working with the WFP on a digital platform wherein they get tap cards.

Now, the tap cards will not be loaded with money but they will be loaded with food equivalent, meaning we also work with the FNRI family in crafting the program wherein they created multiple baskets to choose from. So, iyong baskets are always composed of 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fats. So, mamimili ka lang within the food groups – so let’s say you go to an accredited partner retailer – you get to choose lang from a selected list of food items in that food group – so kung cards it’s either rice or whatever you may have. So, hindi ito tipong cash na ibibigay natin, we use food as currency.

I’m sure somebody will ask that, “who are the retailers,” that’s the exciting part for us. What we’re doing right now is creating a whole ecosystem of farm-to-table. Remember, the President’s drive was making sure that our farmers are taken care of and that’s why he setup iyong mga Kadiwa ng Pangulo – that’s the farm-to-market part 1; the part 2 is we extend that ecosystem to market-to-table.

So, with a million Filipino families subscribed to it, we can also tap into our Kadiwa ng Pangulo as outlets; two, MSME’s – mga mom-and-pop groceries; and three, obviously because of their scale and their magnitude, mga big grocers. We’ve spoken to them every single brand there is and there is an appetite to participate in this program kasi we wanted to become a movement.

Ending hunger is not just the government’s job; ending hunger is everybody’s job. It’s not right that a million Filipino families are sleeping hungry and saying na bukas I’ve lost all will to get out of poverty kasi chronic na iyong poverty nila, “kung gutom ka ngayon hindi ka makakapagtrabaho, bukas gutom ka na naman,” and the cycle keeps on going around and around and around.

MARICEL HALILI/TV 5: And, sir, paano po natin malalaman kung sino sa kanila iyong graduate na doon sa programa?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: Okay. Two things that we will use, that’s the measuring part – remember SWS and other outfits always run that quarterly hunger index na lagi nating napi-feature? The recent one I believed was it went down from 11 to 9% – you can fact check me on that, I just don’t have the detailed figures in my head. We will obviously work with our survey firms to make sure that we are gauging the right things.

On another point, in the designed program the four-year life of the program is four years because Listahanan iyong ginagamit namin para sa 4Ps na mga Proxy Means Test (PMT) are ran actually every four years. So we can gauge; after four years, we can see if may progress sa kanilang…in fact as early as two years we can already gauge it. If they’re moving along as we want, moving out of the food-poor category hopefully into the poor category.

We always say that poverty is a long game. Hindi naman natin kaya…we want to end poverty pero hindi natin kayang sugpuin ang kahirapan overnight pero may mga low-lying fruits like ending hunger, we’ve ask so many people and it’s doable. As early as two years you can start gauging it according to literature, but four years is the graduation point because we can actually use our tools ng Listahanan to gauge. May characteristics iyon, remember sa Proxy Means Test what a poor person looks like – meaning iyong tahanan niya, ganiyan – we will use the same gauge as well as the other methods being used by other survey outfits out there or research outfits out there.

MARICEL HALILI/TV 5: Sir, last na lang. So, kapag, sir, nakasama na sila dito sa Listahanan hindi na sila puwedeng maging part ng ibang program?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: No quite the contrary. We will use the same base iyong Listahanan – binaliktad natin, we got the zero pinakamahirap and look for one million of them. Iyong per capita nila is pinakailalim paakyat till one million is hit. And then this will sound very technical but this is the amount of effort we’ve put into it.

Working with PSA, mayroong Food Insecurity Experience Survey (Family Income and Expenditure Survey), FIES ang tawag nila, F-I-E-S, Family Income and Expenditure Survey, if I’m not mistaken – there are characteristics also to what a hungry person technically looks like, so, ipi-filter natin iyon. So, we’ll draw out the per capita na pinakamahirap from the bottom one million and then isasala pa natin ulit doon sa filter that FIES that the PSA gladly gave us para makita natin kung talagang iyong person na na-target natin ay mahirap.

Now, there will be overlaps kasi remember 4Ps is not your anti-hunger program; 4Ps was designed to keep our children in school at an early age at ang conditionality niya is the health side of it – to make sure that our children get the right barangay intervention sa barangay health centers nila. But it is not a hunger mitigation program. So, this is actually complementary to it. There will be overlaps, pero hindi necessarily lahat sila the same because ang matatamaan dito malamang will be the poorest of the poor ng 4Ps, pero may mga mahihirap na wala sa 4Ps kasi they did not meet the condition – wala silang anak, so on and so forth.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Okay. Nestor Corrales, Philippine Daily Inquirer.

NESTOR CORRALES/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Good morning, Secretary. Secretary, how will the DSWD make sure that this Food Stamp Program is sustainable? Where will the agency get the funds after the ADB grant for the pilot run?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: Iyan, that’s why we said it’s in the design stage, the devil will always be in the details. We will get back to you, number one, we are due to meet the finance managers of the government to explain the program to them. But off the back, there’s seems to and I’m not, I cannot gauge it with absolute certainty kasi I belong to a different cluster in the Cabinet, but ADB is very excited, they said it yesterday. They are very excited to work with us on this beyond the grand stage.

And there’s also appetite from our other development partners like World Bank. ‘Di ba we’ve been working with them, the DSWD, they (ADB) are also excited, they wanna put in their inputs there. But importantly, recently we met the UN resident coordinator, si Gustavo Gonzales, and he said nga there are other windows, we don’t have to fund this solely by ourselves. There are multilateral windows out there that the United Nations can help us tap into so that the burden of carrying the program is not solely the responsibility of the Philippines.

You have to remember, SDG 2 ending hunger is a universal. The United Nations has been championing this. The President shares the same vision so this is going to be a collaborative approach, multilateral in nature not just solely by our own funds but by the greater international community who wants to help us end hunger in the Philippines.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Okay. Alexis Romero, Philippine Star.

ALEXIS ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Secretary, so how do we ensure that we prevent leakages especially sa list of beneficiaries and ensure that only those intended beneficiaries will get those food stamps?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: That’s why we’re really spending a lot time in the design and pilot stage. That’s why itong remainder of the year which is from now till December we’ll have to pilot and look at where potential leakages are. Siyempre sa sa design, sa papel everything is theoretically will look nice but when you implement it that’s the time you catch the leakages – leakages like what if they sell the food that they get – iyan iyong mga bagay na that we’ll be on the lookout for. That’s why the design in the pilot stage is very crucial even for the WFP.

When they launch the same program in other countries like Mongolia, Indonesia, Vietnam their programs were very successful. We also don’t have to change the wheel as the president told us. There are working models out there that we can copy, tweak a little so that we can adapt it to the terrain of the Philippines but the design stage again is why we need to put time and effort hindi iyong biglang ni-launch na lang. That’s why we’re spending so much months designing it and then piloting it.

ALEXIS ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: So, how much is again the total funding requirement for the food stamp program?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: Initially, we are looking at the first 11 billion for the 300,000 – you can do the math I just don’t have the figures – but the total global when it’s running already should probably harp into 40 billion to include the administrative cost but those are raw numbers. Please don’t quote us on that kasi when we do the design and we do the pilot stage may disclaimer ako lagi ‘di ba. No, but that’s the estimate of the department, you can quote me on that – that’s the estimate of the department.

But when you run it in the design stage, you can see saan pa puwedeng mag-trim left and right because there will be economies of scale that we will try to exploit ‘di ba? Remember the Kadiwa ng Pangulo is actually eliminating traders so there are actually opportunities to be made there to cut cost. So, the 40 billion is our rough estimate, the department’s estimate. 11 billion then 40 billion at its full scale but when we actually finish the design stage then we’ll know the detail in peso and centavo.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Okay. Alvin Baltazar, PBS.

ALVIN BALTAZAR/PBS: Secretary, magandang tanghali po. Secretary, kahapon parang medyo nabigla si Pangulo na parang wala pa pala tayong Food Stamp Program dito sa Pilipinas at sinasabi niya effective iyong Food Stamp Program sa ibang bansa. Anu-ano bang bansa iyong mga nagpapatupad na ng Food Stamp Program na sabi nga effective naman at magiging effective din ba dito sa atin?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: Marami. Actually, the U.S. is a prime example, they have the snack program. Indonesia and most Latin American countries have it. In fact, in one of the Latin American countries that slips my mind, of all the social welfare programs, ito iyong pinaka-popular. If I am not mistaken, it is Venezuela. But Vietnam has their own program, and Mongolia has their own program – varying scale lang. But there is one commonality that I wanna point out – it’s meant to protect the most vulnerable.

You know, you get all these shocks in prices that are beyond our control. But with such programs are kasi we will be able to insulate them, making sure that the most vulnerable get the protection that they need. I just wanna also talk about the features of the program, iyong digital side of it is something that is new. So, maaaring wala sa ibang bansa iyon, kanila manual, so atin it’s going to be a revved up version, staying in line with the President’s directive of digitizing, making social welfare easier, tawag nga namin doon – ease of social welfare.

Q: Hi sir, ano na po ang ginagawang preparasyon ng DSWD sa banta ngayon ng paparating na malakas na bagyo, sir?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: Well, actually papunta na ako, pabalik ako ng department, because we are supposed to meet our beat reporters there about the preparation. Pero since, mga same outfit rin ninyo rin iyon, so saves as the trouble of doing it. Early on, we have prepositioned goods naman everywhere in the country. We have prepositioned goods naman everywhere in the country. We have worked with PAG-ASA on the modeling that it seems going to – it seems at this point, kasi it’s very early – it’s going to affect Regions II, Regions I all the way to Batanes.

But again, sabi nga nila, the path can change, but malaki siya. So, what we have done is we have augmented the stockpiling of food packs up north. Right now, ang average kasi nila will be at around 30 to 50,000 in those two regions independently of each other. Naka-preposition na iyon, but we are doubling it up. The goal here is to double it before the end of business tomorrow. We have already started mobilizing as early as this weekend.

So the food packs will be there and then our field offices are now tasked to work with the Local Government Units to see to it that the Local Government Units in those areas that may be affected know the logistical support of the DSWD is around. Kasi alam naman natin na the first line of defense will be the LGUs but DSWD has the mandate for response.

Q: Sir, do we have enough budget para..?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: We do. The Quick Response Fund (QRF) of the national government will kick in naman. Remember in the Quick Response Fund natin, part niyan is preparedness, making sure that handa tayo even before the storms come in. Sa DSWD, we have a full department doing disaster response, it’s not a one-shop deal na kapag may bagyo lang dumadating. All year long, they do these types of stockpiling activities, identifying—when I was signed up, we were talking about having [unclear]; we are trying to expand our warehouse system, that is what we are utilizing now, the warehouse system ng LGUs o ng national government or ng mga national government agencies, pinupuno natin iyon all year round, kasi hindi lang naman storm ang binabantayan natin. May mga iba pang sakuna na maaaring dumating.

On a regular day, hindi lang siguro napi-pick-up ng media that we respond to small-scale calamities, man-made or natural – fires, mga skirmishes, and conflicts. So, we do that pero day in and day out, that’s part of our mandate.

CATHY VALENTE/MLA TIMES: Good afternoon, Secretary. Sir, the DSWD has issued cease and desist order against an orphanage sa Quezon City for alleged violation of a law against child abuse, exploitation, and discrimination. May we get details po? Ilang bata ang affected? Is this an isolated case or may other orphanages pa tayong tinitingnan?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: Okay, I’m glad you asked that, isa pa iyan sa mga, baka pagdating ko doon, sabihin nila hindi na nila ako kakausapin, ng mga beat reporters ng DSWD, kasi sinagot ko na ng sinagot dito and I promised them, una pa naman sila. Anyways, we are referring to the account of Gentle Hands Incorporated in Quezon City. Yes, we did issue a ‘cease and desist’ order on the following grounds:

Number one, as early as last Friday, I personally got complaints on the living situation inside the orphanage. There are 149 kinds and children inside. I personally went to inspect and see it first hand, kasi nothing beats me looking at it. Hindi ba, mahirap into rely on reports lang, written reports. So, on a Saturday I brought our team in the Standards Bureau together with our resident social workers to do a spot check. Remember na mandate ng DSWD na since we are regulating social welfare development agencies, whether they are care facilities, responsibilidad rin namin to always monitor them and spot checks, as long as may registered social worker is allowed.

So, I went to their social worker, Saturday afternoon at around 5:00 PM. I myself saw the following things.

One, the upkeep was not your most ideal – nakakalat iyong basura.

Two, ventilation was an issue. Kasi ang nangyari dito, they over capacitated the orphanage, it’s a privately run orphanage, 80 lang ang rating niya, but they are running at a 149 or 150 plus – 149 actually to be exact.

So, there right there and there, maling-mali na iyon eh. And the worst part of it is we saw the fire exits and they were sealed or may mga grills and that was not acceptable to us, that is a walking fire trap. So, those are the three things.

And of the things that struck me, is that it’s overpopulated, kasi they are running it beyond their allowed occupancy.

Two, there are fire safety concerns.

Three, the hygiene or the living standards are not to the standards of the department.

And then four, more peculiarly, sa akin po and this is what I saw, when I walked in, kasi there was a security guard, our social workers introduced themselves. We are social workers, kasi di ba sa spot check rules, dapat may social worker na kasama, I surely, I’m not one. But you are deputized na sumama with the social worker.

The guard initially said, hindi puwede, kasi wala raw doon iyong mga houseparent, wala doon iyong mga persons of authority, wala doon iyong mga social workers nila, which is a no, no in such facility. Dapat at any given time, at alam ito ni Daphne because she was a UNICEF champion, there should always be a social worker or houseparent inside. Now, you are running an overpopulated facility nang walang social worker on hand. Mayroon sila pero wala onsite, at the same time, iyong houseparent wala din doon. And all they had were, if I am not mistaken, kaya ayaw ako papasukin, they only have five Kasambahays, who could barely answer.

But you were running a 149. So, it’s a recipe for disaster. What if an accident happens and the fire exits are sealed, di ba. Right there and there mali na nga, kasi the ratio of adult supervision or professional supervision to the population ay lagpas-lagpas na eh. But what struck me as something peculiar was nasa door ako and ayaw ako papasukin, so the social workers had to explain to the guard and the kasambahays kung sino kami, a unsupervised white Caucasian male, just walkout of the facility.

So, ang point ko, if it is unsupervised, kasi ang reason, bakit daw wala, bawal ako pumasok, kasi wala raw doon iyong mga houseparent, wala doon iyong mga guardians, wala doon lahat, eh bakit mayroong adult male Caucasian just walking freely unsupervised? How do I say unsupervised, kasi that’s the same reason to me eh! So, we finally got in, they escorted us in and true enough wala iyong mga houseparent, wala iyong mga social worker, then later on dumating iyong resident psychologist nila, child psychologist nila, then we engaged them, ask questions so on and so forth.

But sa akin, more than anything, the cease and desist order is anchored on our ‘parent of the nation’ doctrine. We are supposed to take care of and protect those that cannot protect themselves, especially children. So that is why we move our cease and desist, but giving them 20 days to answer our findings and also to fix whatever they need to fix. But in the interim, we have to protect the children.

Now, as we speak right now, our social workers are onsite to make sure that we work with the children, that they are properly handled, ‘di ba, siyempre you just don’t pull out. Our social workers know the protocol. So, ang bottom line is we are exercising our power to protect, to stand as ‘parents of the nation’, in this case, the parents of the children because the child’s welfare, well-being is the primordial driver of our social protection mandate. Ang importante sa amin is maprotektahan iyong mga bata.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: So, sir kapag hindi po naayos itong mga issues na ito, ano ang plano natin doon sa mga bata?

DSWD SEC. GATCHALIAN: Well, there are protocols in the department—ah, no. The kids will now be moved to our care facilities. Even in the 20 days, you cannot keep them there because nga may mga immediate imminent danger findings na kami. Kasi tinatanong daw sa amin, bakit ang bilis, precisely dapat mabilis, because there is eminent danger and we have to make sure that children are protected, hindi na kami mag-aantay na may masaktan pa bago kami gagalaw.

These are regular programs that we do. When I took the helm of the department, we had to evaluate every single program, not just our social protection program. We have to evaluate our development programs. We have to evaluate everything, siyempre bago ako eh. So, I wanna take stock of what we have and it so happened that this is one of those na nakita namin na issues that we have to address. So, mas magandang tanong is: Ano ang mangyayari doon sa institution if they don’t get to correct the issues? Then, we have to go through the accreditation and the licensing issues. But for now, the main goal is to protect the children.

DAPHNE OSEÑA-PAEZ: Wow! Thank you so much, Secretary Rex Gatchalian, and thank you, Malacañang Press Corps. Have a good afternoon. Thank you


News and Information Bureau – Transcription Section