Some senators are in agreement with the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) plan to streamline the bureaucracy, and remove or merge government agencies whose functions are already overlapping or are redundant.
Returning Senators Loren Legarda and Francis “Chiz” Escudero said they fully support the DBM’s proposal.
“I fully support the proposal of DBM to rightsize the bureaucracy. In fact, I filed a similar measure during the 17th Congress when I was the Senate Finance (Committee) chair,” Legarda said in a statement.
“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.
Legarda said it is high time that government efforts must be redirected toward carrying out its fundamental duties for the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery.
“With this, I will refile the measure in the 19th Congress and see to its fruition,” she said.
Escudero pointed out he rightsized the provincial government of Sorsogon, too, when he sat as governor “not only to save money but also to make the delivery of services more efficient,” including ISO 9001-2015 certification of our systems and processes.
“I believe that this is the right path to take insofar as the administration is concerned.
“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.
“It will be a difficult and long process and I am sure that she will encounter a lot of resistance but I hope she will stay the course because, in the end, it is, I believe, in the best interest of our country and people,” Escudero added.
Sen. Sonny Angara, for his part, noted that the call to streamline the bureaucracy “has been there for some time” and is probably already overdue.
“I personally would not be averse to delegating the power to the executive particularly the DBM, as that is part of its mandate,” Angara said.
“Bukod sa paglikha ng pambansang budget nandyan din yung trabaho niya bilang tagapangasiwa ng Human Resources ng gobyerno (Aside from taking care of the national budget, they are also in-charge of the human resources of government),” he said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said that if the agencies or bureaus were created by law, then it must be Congress who has the duty to abolish the government entity and also provide by law for the benefits of the separated employees and the disposal of the assets.
Pimentel said the role of the Executive branch is to identify these government agencies to Congress so that the corresponding relevant bill can be drafted.
“(The) first step is with the Executive. But the formal decision to abolish rests with Congress,” Pimentel reminded.