MANILA—The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) welcomes the support of legislators for the bill Rightsizing the National Government Act of 2017.
Senator Loren Legarda, Chairperson of the Committee on Finance and Sub-Committee on Senate Bill Nos. 1339, 1337, 1162, and 1167 of the Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation, said in her sponsorship speech that the passage of the bill would further enhance the government’s institutional capacity and give more value to taxpayer’s money and be responsive to the changing demands of the public.
The National Government’s Rightsizing Program has a function-based approach that would abolish executive agencies with overlapping or redundant operations and functions that result in ineffective and inefficient in the delivery of public services.
“Aside from these budgetary implications, a big bureaucracy has a negative impact on government performance and efficiency. For example, the overlapping jurisdictions and redundant functions of several agencies result in confusing regulatory rules, duplicating requirements, red tape and inefficient delivery of public goods and services, which could be detrimental to the Filipino people,” Legarda said.
Legarda added that funding these redundant and outdated agencies is a waste of the country’s limited resources.
In the 1st Joint Meeting of the House Committee on Government Reorganization and Committee on Appropriations yesterday, the House representatives have also expressed support for the proposed measure. Addressing the concerns of some legislators, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno emphasized that the Program is not about forced retirement or separation of affected regular employees.
Regular personnel whose positions would be affected in the implementation of the Program shall have the option to (1) avail of retirement benefits and separation incentives, or (2) be placed by the CSC in agencies needing additional personnel.
A Committee on Rightsizing the Executive Branch will be created to oversee the implementation of the Program, composed of the Executive Secretary as Chairman, and the Secretary of Budget and Management as Co-Chairman, with the Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning, Chairperson of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the Head of the Presidential Management Staff, as members.
There will also be a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee to oversee, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Act to be composed of five members each from the Senate and from the House of Representatives.
The passage of the bill would provide the President of the Philippines with the authority to rightsize the Executive Branch in accordance with the guiding principles, policies, standards and guidelines under this proposed legislative measure.
Under Section 17, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution, the President has control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices. Section 312 of the Administrative Code of 1987 echoes this by vesting in the President the continuing authority to reorganize the offices under him in order to achieve simplicity, economy, and efficiency.
Furthermore, Sections 82 and 83 of the 2017 General Appropriations Act reflect the power of the President to reorganize executive offices or agencies even to the extent of modifying and realigning appropriations for that purpose.