MANILA – President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has appointed labor leader and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) spokesperson Alan Tanjusay as Social Welfare Undersecretary for Inclusive and Sustainable Peace.
Tanjusay confirmed his appointment in a press statement on Tuesday.
As undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Tanjusay is tasked to oversee the Marcos administration's renewed commitment to continue the government's welfare services and deradicalization programs to former rebels and their families.
"I am grateful to President Marcos for allowing me to serve one of our vulnerable sector in another capacity in particular the rebel returnees, their families, the conflict-affected and vulnerable indigenous peoples' communities including the women and children in geographically isolated areas," he said.
Malacañang has yet to release Tanjusay's appointment paper.
Tanjusay said the DSWD Office of Undersecretary for Inclusive and Sustainable Peace (OUSISP) is providing an "extensive range of welfare services and deradicalization programs to rebel returnees and their families, including women and children in far-flung, hard-to-reach communities."
"I am honored to oversee and to further implement government caring services and targeted programs uniquely prepared by our driven DSWD officers and staff for these vulnerable sectors," he said.
Tanjusay vowed to cooperate with DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo.
"Of course, I am eager to be working under an ardent boss and resolute DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo, along with the highly professional men and women of the DSWD family," Tanjusay said.
Tanjusay said he will work for the reintegration of rebel returnees to society.
"My vision for the office (OUSISP) is to improve its services so that more rebels will return to the fold of the law and help in nation-building," Tanjusay said in an interview.
His office will coordinate with the National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict and Armed Forces of the Philippines for the processing and validation of rebel returnees before they are turned over to the DSWD.
"They will be assessed to be appropriate for the vast range of DSWD psychosocial services that will be offered to them and their families. They will receive grants, livelihood assistance, housing, among others," he added.
Tanjusay had a combined 15-year tour of duty as a journalist for local tabloid and broadsheet newspapers and for a Manila-based Japanese television and newspaper and served as spokesperson for workers and policy advocacy director for the largest federation of unions, the Associated Labor Unions (ALU).
Being a labor leader, Tanjusay spoke for the workers and their families' interest.
He promoted labor rights and welfare in the Senate and the House of Representatives' labor policy technical working groups' deliberations and pushed for fair wages, enactment of the Security of Tenure bill, improvement in the wage setting mechanism, and the measures on compliance on the health and safety of workplace standards.
He recently helped lead the ALU and TUCP campaign to raise the minimum wage by filing pay hike petitions in several regions.
Tanjusay was also lauded for advocating for the government ban on compulsory wearing of high-heeled shoes in workplaces and represented the workers' sector in local and international dialogues.
Other DSWD execs
The other officials appointed to serve in the DSWD include Undersecretary Sally Navarro and Assistant Secretaries Irene Dumlao and Rodolfo Santos for Social Welfare and Development.
Tulfo has likewise sworn into office Undersecretary Jerico Javier and Assistant Secretaries Elaine Fallarcuna and Jun Loyola for Operations; Undersecretary Adonis Sulit and Assistant Secretary Ivy Rivera for General Administration and Support; Undersecretary Antonio Crisanto Jr. and Assistant Secretary Janus Sidayao for Finance; Undersecretary Charles Co and Assistant Secretary Janet Armas for Policy and Plans; Undersecretary Denise Bernos-Bragas and Assistant Secretary Diana Rose Cajipe for Standards and Capacity Building; Undersecretary Marco Bautista and Assistant Secretary Gary Pulitico for Disaster Response Management; Undersecretary Vilma Cabrera and Assistant Secretary Maris Maristela (Luzon), Assistant Secretary Evelyn Macapobre (Visayas), and Assistant Secretary Arnel Garcia (Mindanao) for Special Concerns; Undersecretary Eduardo Punay and Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez for Special Projects; and Undersecretary Niña Taduran for Legislative. (PNA)