Edu Punay named DSWD OIC

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has designated Eduardo Punay as officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Malacañang announced on Tuesday.

Punay’s appointment was confirmed by Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, OIC of the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS).

“We confirm the appointment of Undersecretary Eduardo M. Punay as the Officer-In-Charge of the Department of Social Welfare and Development,” Garafil said in a statement.

The OPS also released a copy of Punay’s appointment paper signed by Marcos on Dec. 23.

Prior to his new appointment, Punay served as DSWD Undersecretary for Special Projects.

He was a broadsheet reporter before working for the Marcos administration.

Punay was designated as DSWD OIC “to ensure the continuous operations of the agency and that no activities will be derailed or hampered,” the department said in a separate statement.

The DSWD said Punay’s appointment was also timely, especially now that it needs to provide assistance to the flooding victims in Visayas and Mindanao.

Former DSWD chief Erwin Tulfo, another ex-journalist, was bypassed by the Commission on Appointments (CA) due to citizenship issues and previous libel convictions.

“I like Sec. Tulfo. Masipag siya. Nasasayangan ako sa kanya (He is hardworking. Such a waste) but we have to perform our constitutional mandate. We have to weigh in on what the justices are saying. They have legal opinions and Supreme Court decisions,” Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said in a press briefing on Dec. 12. “The CA has never confirmed anyone with final conviction. Pag-aralan muna natin mabuti ang (We will have to study the) legal implications. It involves moral turpitude.”

Aside from four counts of libel, Tulfo failed to submit documents to prove that he is no longer an American citizen after a previous enlistment in the United States Army. (PNA)