Incoming DSWD chief Erwin Tulfo gives himself 6 months to 1-year deadline to provide speedy aid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 31) — Incoming Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo is the latest government official to give himself a deadline to institute reforms in his agency under the next administration.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Source on Tuesday, a day after the camp of president-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. announced his appointment, the veteran broadcaster gave himself a deadline of six months to a year to provide immediate assistance to beneficiaries affected by disasters.

"It is a challenge. It is really a challenge. Pero kaya kong patunayan na (but I can prove that) I can do something about it because I've been in this work for the past several years," Tulfo said, when asked whether he thinks he can fulfill in a larger scale the kind of assistance he has been offering to the people in his public service programs.

"Ang hingi ko lang doon sa mga nagdududa, sa mga nababasa ko kahapon pa na, ‘bakit iyan? Marami namang iba dyan,’ ‘broadcaster ‘yan, walang alam,’ ‘binigay lang sa kanya bilang pasasalamat,’ no. Ang sasabihin ko lang sa lahat ng nanonood, please give me six months to one year to deliver," Tulfo said. "Pag hindi ako nakadeliver, hindi ko naibigay o hindi ko natupad yung mga sinabi ko na ayuda in less than 24 hours after calamity, then I will step down."

[Translation: My only appeal to the doubters, to those behind what I have been reading like, "why him? There are so many better options," "he's a broadcaster, he does not know anything," "he was only given the post as a favor," no. I want to tell the viewers, please give me six months to one year to deliver. If I fail to deliver, if I failed to fulfill my promises like the provision of assistance in less than 24 hours after calamity, then I will step down.]

Tulfo said his proposed reforms include setting up a quick response team that will be on standby for the immediate distribution of aid during disasters, and updating the masterlist of beneficiaries for the Social Amelioraiton Program.

He also promised to be a secretary "on the ground," even if that entails sleeping in evacuation centers.

Like his three brothers, Tulfo is a known radio and television personality, having worked in the industry for almost three decades. His brother Raffy also won the recent senatorial elections, while his sister-in-law and nephew won the congressional race.

Filipinos are familiar with government officials setting deadlines to achieve specific targets in their line of work. Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign promise of eradicating drugs in the country in three to six months helped him secure millions of votes in the 2016 elections.

In April, Duterte admitted that he was "really wrong" in setting such deadline. His six years in office was marred with criticisms about his bloody campaign, following reports of extrajudicial killings which drew flak from human rights advocates.

READ: Duterte on his 3-6 months drug war deadline: ‘I was really wrong’