LABOR Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma on Sunday called on state workers to be more open to the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) plan to streamline the government workforce, which could cut public expenditure by P14.8 billion annually.
The DBM’s rightsizing plan may affect job positions but will not automatically lead to downsizing the public sector labor force, he said.
“When you talk of streamlining, it’s all about making work in a business easier and fruitful,” he said.
“On the other hand, structural reforms imply changes to how the government works, and I don’t see a downsizing of workforce in those definitions.”
Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman told DZBB Radio last week that the administration would assess which of the 187 government agencies, including state-owned companies, have repetitive or overlapping functions and cut down by merging, restructuring, or abolition.
She also said DBM would endorse the rightsizing bill as one of the agency’s legislative priorities.
Last week, Mr. Laguesma told an online briefing that his department would review the Budget department’s proposal.
“Whatever happens, the Department of Labor and Employment would always champion the security and safety of our workers, whether they are government servants or employees of private institutions,” he said.
“Let’s be more positive with rightsizing where the possibility of transferring or even hiring more people by a government with lots of tasks to perform is very high.”
The Civil Service Commission (CSC), meanwhile, has given assurance that it would thoroughly study the rightsizing proposal with the welfare of government workers in mind.
The CSC, in a statement on Friday, said it would support any measure to ensure increased efficiency within the public sector, with the goal of a “future-ready civil service.”
Several senators have also expressed support to the DBM’s proposal saying it would likely lessen unnecessary expenses and increase the efficiency of government agencies.
Leonardo A. Lanzona, director of the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development, said trimming the bureaucracy will result in greater savings for the government.
Public sector labor unions have expressed opposition to the DBM plan.
These include the Kawani Laban sa Kontraktwalisasyon, Confederation for Unity Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), and Tanggol Trabaho, National President of Social Welfare Employees of the Philippines (SWEAP). — John Victor D. Ordoñez