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House bill on gov’t rightsizing hurdles second reading

A priority measure proposing to rightsize the bureaucracy is a step closer into becoming a law after it hurdled second reading approval at the House of Representatives.

During Wednesday's plenary session, the chamber passed through voice voting House Bill 7240, or the proposed National Government Rightsizing Act, which is identified as a legislative priority of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during his first State of the Nation Address in July last year.

The bill aims to make a lean, efficient and responsive government workforce through rightsizing to improve public service delivery.

The proposal shall cover all agencies of the executive branch, including departments, bureaus, offices, commissions, boards, councils and all other entities attached to or under their administrative supervisions, government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) not covered by Republic Act 10149 or the GOCC Governance Act.

The bill shall exclude certain government positions in the coverage of the proposed rightsizing, including teaching and teaching-related positions, medical items in hospitals and military and uniform personnel in the Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Transportation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Justice in recognition of their important roles in Philippine society.

Under the proposal, the President shall be granted the authority to rightsize the executive branch to eliminate redundant, duplicate and overlapping functions.

Personnel who may be affected by the program shall be granted retirement benefits and separation incentives.

A three-year timeline shall be provided to implement the rightsizing program.

Speaker Martin Romualdez said while overhauling a "bloated bureaucracy" is no easy task considering the "vastness and complexity" of government offices, the legislative intent of the measure must be realized in the context of good governance, improved public service delivery and fiscal prudence.

"The aim of rightsizing the government bureaucracy is to improve public service delivery by minimizing duplication, redundancy or overlapping in functions," Romualdez said.

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman earlier said with the proposed rightsizing, government will save a significant amount of the budget which may be used to fund priority projects such as in building much-needed infrastructure, social services, programs in the health sector, agriculture, among others.

Under the DBM's rightsizing plan, the Marcos administration will determine which among the 187 government agencies with about 2 million personnel may be streamlined through merging, restructuring or abolition

Source: Philippines News Agency