Senate to tackle bill abolishing redundant gov’t agencies in January

Published November 3, 2018, 6:16 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Senate is eyeing to pass by January next year the bill which seeks to reorganize and abolish redundant or irrelevant agencies in government.


Senate President Vicente Sotto III said on Saturday that Senate Bill No. 1395, the proposed “Act Rightsizing the National Government to Improve Public Service Delivery and for other purposes,” is among the measures that the Upper Chamber will try to approve upon resumption of their session on November 12.

Sotto said it is high time to pass the bill to allow more Filipinos to benefit from the annual government budget.

Congress, which is currently on a break, is deliberating on the proposed General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2019.

Sotto, one of the authors of the proposed law, said that 65 percent of the proposed P3.757-trillion budget next year has been allocated to agencies’ personal services, or the wages of state employees, due to the overlapping staff positions in government.

Only 35 percent, or less, would fund government projects and services, he said.

In pushing for the approval of SB 1395, Sotto cited his office’s study that 40 percent, or some P900 billion, of the budget for personal services could be saved and be redirected to government services.

He added many of the government employees would also opt for early retirement since they would be offered the lump sum of their retirement benefits.

“Ilang million Filipino ang matutulungan natin natin taon-taon, imbes na pangsweldo, di ban How many Filipinos can we help every year, instead of just allocating the fund for salaries, right)?” Sotto said.

SB 1395 is pending approval for second reading in Senate. The House of Representatives passed their version of the measure last year.

The measure was considered a priority of the Duterte administration, after President Duterte mentioned it in his second State of the Nation Address July last year.

Aside from Sotto, other authors of the measure were Senators Loren Legarda, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Gregorio Honasan II and Antonio Trillanes IV.