DOF lukewarm on new gov’t departments

Published September 10, 2021, 3:06 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Department of Finance (DOF) is lukewarm to pending proposals in Congress seeking for the creation of new government departments.

DOF Building in Manila

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, the government’s chief economic manager, explained that such proposals run counter to a global move of streamlining the cumbersome bureaucratic procedures.

“You know the creation of the new departments should really be based on whether or not the service to the people will increase. In simple terms, are you going to get more bang for your buck?” Dominguez said.

During a recent Senate hearing, lawmakers sought the opinion of Dominguez about the pending bills that will create new agencies, such as Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos.

Responding to Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri’s query, the DOF chief said he was “quite surprised” about the plan for more government departments.

“In other governments I’ve seen, there’s a consolidation of functions so that the bureaucracy is streamlined,” the finance chief told the senator.

Instead of additional departments, Dominguez suggested to the Senate to revisit the rightsizing program of now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin E. Diokno, a former budget secretary.

Diokno had supported a bill that will eliminate functions, programs and projects that are already redundant or no longer needed, as well as the abolition of agencies with overlapping or redundant operations and functions.

Earlier, President Duterte certified as urgent a Senate bill creating a department for overseas Filipino workers. But there is also a pending measure titled “Rightsizing the National Government to Improve Public Service Delivery.”

Business group the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands strongly supported the proposed rightsizing bill that calls for the streamlining of government functions and reducing the “bloated” bureaucracy.

Senate Bill No. 244 primarily seeks to streamline government functions and reduce the Philippine bureaucracy to enhance the government’s institutional capacity to improve public service delivery.

 
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