DBM to implement gov’t restructuring by 2019

Posted on July 18, 2017

THE BUDGET department said it aims to fully implement a restructuring in government by removing redundant functions by 2019.

Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said that the government can recoup the funds used in separation incentives in two years and three months. -- Bernard Testa/InterAksyon
Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said that the proposed trimming of the bureaucracy will be able to be delivered in two years.

“I need two years to fully implement it. So the requirement to separate (government agencies), entirely resign or retire (the government workers)... will come in maybe 2019,” Mr. Diokno told reporters in a chance interview recently.

The Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council Executive Committee last Thursday endorsed the bill as urgent to the President, among others.

The legislation “is moving. At the House, it’s on third reading, and it is also certified (as urgent). It will take a while before we can really separate (the redundant government functions). But in the Senate, the bill is in interpellation. So we are optimistic that it can be approved this year,” said Mr. Diokno.

Senate Bill No. 1162, or the Rightsizing the National Government to Improve Public Service Delivery filed by Senator Loren B. Legarda, seeks to “right-size the organizational structures of all national government agencies, to simplify systems and processes, and to attain expediency in their front line services.”

Under the program, affected government personnel will be given the option to avail of retirement benefits and separation incentives with the amount based on the time in office, or be placed by the Civil Service Commission in agencies needing additional personnel.

However, it excludes teaching, medical, military positions, as well as positions in Government Owned and Controlled Corporation/Government Financing Institution (GOCCs/GFIs), according to the proposal.

In its report to the Senate Committee of Civil Service, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) estimated up to 255,295 general civil servants, or 16% of the 1.6 million total government positions will be affected by the proposed legislation.

According to the DBM’s simulation, assuming 15% or 38,294 of the general civil servants are separated from government service, it would cost the government some P54.629 billion for their incentives and terminal leave benefits.

However, funds saved from the implementation of the legislation are estimated at P24.276 billion in the first year of implementation, which is less than half of the initial cost.

Mr. Diokno said that the government can recoup the funds used in separation incentives in two years and three months.

The Senate proposal came after President Rodrigo R. Duterte announced plans to trim the bureaucracy through merging or abolishing government agencies with redundant functions. He made the announcement in his Budget Message for Fiscal Year 2017. -- Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan