Opposition to the appointment of retiring Army chief Rolando Bautista as secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to mount as critics slam the “militarization” in government agencies.
The Philippine Association of Social Workers Inc. (PASWI), on radio, said Bautista is primarily trained in counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism which is hugely different from the DSWD post calling for expertise in social protection and crisis response.
“This is not an issue of discrimination. This is a matter of appointing a person with the right credentials for the job,” PASWI president Malou Alcid said. “Bautista’s traditions, the culture of the organization he is from are different from and not appropriate for the new field he will enter.”
With a military man heading the DSWD, some people’s organizations may also be labeled subversive and could risk losing their social benefits, Alcid said.
There are many other social welfare practitioners who Duterte may tap to lead DSWD, she said.
Ako Bicol partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe, an ally of the President, earlier had said military men like Bautista are “disciplined, highly-trained and educated and know how to motivate people.”
“I don’t look at people on the uniform they are wearing. I look on people on their ability to serve based on their performance and competence,” Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo added.