SENATORS on Wednesday supported a rightsizing plan proposed by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which may affect two million jobs as it aims to save an annual P14.8 billion in government expenditure.
“I think the call to streamline the bureaucracy has been there for some time and is probably overdue,” Senator Juan Edgardo M. Angara, who is set to head the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I personally would not be averse to delegating the power to the executive particularly the DBM as that is part of its mandate,” he added.
Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman in a Wednesday interview with DZBB Super Radyo said the administration will soon determine which of the 187 government agencies, including state-owned companies, have repetitive or overlapping functions and cut down by merging, restructuring or abolition.
“I fully support the proposal of DBM to rightsize the bureaucracy,” Senator Lorna Regina “Loren” B. Legarda said in a separate statement, citing that she filed a similar bill in the 17th Congress.
“There are government agencies that have functions that overlap or are redundant. This makes them ineffective and inefficient, and these also entail unnecessary expenses,” she added.
Senator Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. Escudero said the DBM plan is the “right path” to take, though he acknowledged that it would be a difficult process.
“They just have to pour in the time to study which positions are redundant or unnecessary and to make sure that those that may be affected are given proper compensation on top of whatever benefits from GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) in order to help them get by and start anew amidst these trying economic times,” he said.
Ms. Pangandaman noted that the streamlining will not include teaching, medical, and military workers, as well as positions in state-firms covered by the government-owned and -controlled corporation governance law.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” L. Pimentel III said the first step is for the executive branch to identify which government agencies will be affected so that the corresponding bill can be drafted. [Text Wrapping Break]
“But the formal decision to abolish rests with Congress,” Mr. Pimentel said. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan