Pangandaman clarifies gov’t ‘rightsizing’ will not result in personnel reduction

Pangandaman clarifies gov’t ‘rightsizing’ will not result in personnel reduction

Newly appointed budget and management secretary Amenah Pangandaman. (Photo credits: Bilyonaryo)

By Tracy Cabrera

MANILA — Amid fears that the new Marcos administration’s plan of ‘rightsizing’ the bureaucracy could result in the displacement from employment of thousands of government workers, budget secretary Amenah Pangandaman has assured that ‘rightsizing’ does not automatically mean reduction in the number of personnel working in government agencies and offices.

This was the reaction of the ad interim chief of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) when asked about the move even as she clarified that compared to downsizing, which automatically means reduction in the number of personnel, rightsizing relatively means strengthening the requirements of an agency.

“Iyong rightsizing po, possible po na mayroong mga opisina na palakasin, i-strengthen, bigyan ng mas malaking mandato and then possible din po na madagdagan ng tao at ng budget,” Pangandaman pointed out as explanation.

When also asked what agencies may undergo strengthening, she stated that there are no definite identified agencies yet but so far the decision for implementing the move is still pending because the president and his Cabinet us thoroughly studying the proposal for ‘rightsizing’.

“Iyong nilalatag po namin ngayon na batas is to give the President the power to study po the bureaucracy and review the mandate and functions of existing agencies. Kapag nabigyan ang ehekutibo ng powers po, we’ll have a timeline kung ano ‘yung mga opisina na pwedeng matanggal, pagsamahin at saka puwede pong i-create,” she added.

To give a hint, however, the budget chief cited plans of strengthening the country’s education and health sectors.

“Ang posible po d’yan, on top of mind po, well, based po sa aming draft and initial study, the education sector, puwede po natin i-upsize. Ang medical sector po, puwede po rin nating i-upsize,” Pangandaman enthused while adding that government personnel who would be displaced may be transferred to these “upsized” agencies.

“Puwede po nating ilagay sa isang pool iyong posible na matatanggalan ng trabaho dahil napaliit ang kanilang opisina. So puwede po silang i-retool, i-train po sila and then maybe we can put them in another agency kung saan po pina-upsize or ini-strengthen natin,” she opined.

According to the budget secretary, the president has already instructed his Cabinet officials to look into their respective departments for possible rightsizing and also for positions which have been rendered redundant by digitalization efforts.

“Si Presidente po, during our first Cabinet Meeting, nagbigay na po siya ng instruction sa lahat ng Cabinet members to already look into their specific departments kung ano ang pwedeng i-streamline. Of course kasama dito ang digitalization. Baka maraming proseso and ma-streamline dito through digital means,” Pangandaman noted.

She further clarified that the two million mentioned was not the actual job cuts but rather the total number of government employees and the 5 percent mentioned is not a target but an example to highlight a point.

“Ang two million po ay ang population po, ang tinatawag nating ‘universe’ ng lahat ng government employees. Ito po ang lahat ng posisyon sa gobyerno. ‘Yung 5 percent naman po is just an example. Assuming po 5 percent of the two million will be reduced, so that’s 14-billion worth of savings for our personnel services. And the said savings can be allocated to other priority programs and projects of the government like health care, agri support, infra and others,” she stressed to conclude. (ai/mtvn)

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