Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday joked about Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo being a solo parent, as the Cabinet official faced the Commission on Appointments (CA).
During her confirmation hearing at the CA Committee on Labor, Employment and Social Welfare, Taguiwalo was asked by Sotto whether she was single.
"Just on the lighter side, Senator Drilon and I were looking at the personal information about you and you have two children, daughters ba or sons? But you’re single?” Sotto said, referring to Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.
Taguiwalo said she has two daughters.
"Okay. My life has never been a normal one. I've never had a whole 'mother-father-children' kind of thing except when I was growing up in Bacolod," she said.
"Remember, I graduated from UP in 1970, I did organizing work. From 1972 up to the 1986, it has been a life underground or in prison. So, my story would be different from the stories of those who have gone through corporation, etc." she added.
Sotto then said that "in the street language, when you have children and you are single, ang tawag lang ay na-ano lang."
A brief laughter was heard in the room after Sotto made the remark.
"Thank you, you have my 100 percent support, Madam Secretary," Sotto said.
Taguiwalo then told Sotto: "Senator Sotto, I teach women's studies in UP so we respect all kinds of families, and that includes solo parents. Thank you."
Before such remark, Sotto asked Taguiwalo about the role of DSWD for the rehabilitation program of drug users.
Taguiwalo said the DSWD works with the Church, civil society organizations, and the health and interior and local government departments on community-based programs.
She said President Rodrigo Duterte allocated P1 billion in government funds to provide medicinal assistance to drug dependents undergoing rehabilitation.
Taguiwalo was a former professor of the University of the Philippines. She was nominated to the post by the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF).
The vote on Taguiwalo’s confirmation was deferred by the CA committee to a later date, as more members were lined up to ask questions to the Cabinet official. —KBK, GMA News