By Arjay L. Balinbin, November 19 2018; Business World


Image Credit to Business World

MALACAÑANG ON Monday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte has terminated three undersecretaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to give newly-appointed Secretary, Ret. Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, a free hand to “bring his own team to provide better services to the public.”

In a phone message to reporters, Executive Secretary Salvador S. Medialdea confirmed that the appointments of DSWD Undersecretary for Protective Operations and Programs Group Mae Fe A. Templa, Undersecretary for Promotive Operations and Programs Group Maria Lourdes T. Jarabe, and Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group Hope V. Hervilla have been terminated.

“Yes. We expect the new secretary to bring his own team to provide better services to the public,” Mr. Medialdea said.

Mr. Medialdea also denied speculations that their removal from office is due to their affiliation with left-leaning groups in the country.“No naman. [It was for the] formation of a good team,” he said when sought for comment.

In a statement, the DSWD said the three undersecretaries “have left their posts effective November 14, 2018.”

“Undersecretary for Protective Programs Mae Fe Templa and Undersecretary for Promotive Programs Maria Lourdes Turalde-Jarabe have vacated their posts following orders from Malacañang,” the agency said.

The DSWD noted that “both officials did not hesitate to step down from their posts as they are well aware that they serve at the pleasure of the President.”

As for Ms. Hervilla, the DSWD said she “also stepped down after President Duterte had accepted her resignation.”

“Indeed, we all serve at the pleasure of the President. We assure the public that the delivery of services will continue,” Assistant Sectary for the Office of the Secretary Glenda D. Relova was quoted as saying.

Ms. Hervilla is a former regional chairman of Bayan Muna while Ms. Jarabe once served as secretary-general of Gabriela.

Ms. Templa, according to her profile, “has been in social development work through various non-government development institutions and people’s organizations throughout the country in various capacities since 1981.” — Arjay L. Balinbin