MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has designated Valenzuela 1st District Rep. Rex Gatchalian as the new head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Marcos administered the oath of office to Gatchalian as DSWD secretary in a ceremony held at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Tuesday, based on a video shared by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).
Gatchalian's oath taking coincided with the celebration of the department's 72nd founding anniversary.
The DSWD was under the supervision of officer-in-charge Undersecretary Eduardo Punay since December last year after the ad interim appointment of former Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo was bypassed by the Commission on Appointments.
Before his appointment to the Cabinet post, Gatchalian served as representative of the first district of Valenzuela City in the House of Representatives.
He also worked as Valenzuela City's 26th mayor and congressman under the 14th and 15th Congress.
He likewise served as president of the Waterfront Hotel and Casinos and was a board member of several private firms.
Gatchalian graduated cum laude from the George Washington University with a bachelor's degree in political science, with secondary fields of study in marketing and psychology.
The PCO also noted that Gatchalian gained prominence for social protection and disaster response programs.
Malacañang acknowledged Gatchalian's excellent leadership, giving Valenzuela City the opportunity to grab three spots in the Top 10 Outstanding Local Governance Programs at the 2021 Galing Pook Awards.
In 2021, the Valenzuela City government led by Gatchalian was honored for its "Valenzuela Live" program for digital earning, the "Tagalag Fishing Village" project for livelihood and eco-tourism, and the "Paspas Permit" online business permit application platform. (PNA)