Sotto inclined to support DOFil measure

Published January 13, 2021, 4:56 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Wednesday he is inclined to support the passage of the measure seeking to create a separate Department of Overseas Filipinos (DOFil) as it jives with the bill seeking the rightsizing of the government bureaucracy.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III

Sotto said collapsing unnecessary bureaus and other agencies and bringing them under “one roof” could help save the government funds and boost public services.

“Nung pinaga-aralan ko (yung proposal)…I find that it jives with the rightsizing point. Why? Because yung mga hindi importanteng department na kelangan i-collapse, ‘yung mga di importanteng position ay aalisin para ‘yung (Because those unimportant departments can be collapsed and unimportant positions can be removed so that the) 65 percent of the budget which goes to personal services will be limited,” Sotto explained during a Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.

“Mababawasan mas mapapakinabangan natin, ng taombayan for public services at hindi puro pangsweldo (It would be reduced and the people can benefit more from public services instead of the budget going to the salaries of government officials),” the Senate leader further said.

Sotto said passing a separate department dedicated to the responding to the needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) is tantamount to rightsizing the bureaucracy.

“Because you would be collapsing the OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration), the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration), other bureaus that are under the DFA, Trade, Department of Tourism — mapapasok mo lahat sa isang departamento lang (You can put all of that under one department),” he said.

“So para kang nag-rightsize. So sa lahat ng kine-create na departamento, dito ako payag (So it will be like rightsizing. Out of all the proposals that seek to create a separate department, I agree to this proposal),” Sotto said.

“After I reviewed the process, the proposals. Mailalagay sa isa eh, magiging magkakasama sila (They will be under one department, they would all be together). Kaya it does not go against the principle of rightsizing,” he emphasized.

The Senate had earlier deferred hearing the proposed DOFil after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon moved to defer it until Sotto’s bill on rightsizing the government bureaucracy is tackled first.

Sotto said the proposed DOFil is among the priority measures of the Senate and will be taken up once the Upper Chamber resumes regular sessions next week.