House passes gov’t rightsizing bill

House passes gov’t rightsizing bill

MANILA – The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on the third and final reading a priority bill seeking to implement a rightsizing program in the national government to improve the delivery of public service.

Listed as a priority bill of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., House Bill No. 7240 or the proposed Act Rightsizing the National Government, was passed with 292 votes, three against and zero abstentions.

Rightsizing is defined under the bill as “the process of analyzing and designing the appropriate roles, mandates, structures, functions, sizes, systems, as well as processes of government agencies to ensure effective, responsive and efficient service delivery.”

The measure authorizes the President of the Philippines to rightsize the executive branch to eliminate redundant, duplicate and overlapping functions.

HB 7240 also provides for the optional adoption of the rightsizing program by the legislature, judiciary, constitutional commissions, Office of the Ombudsman and local government units (LGUs).

To oversee the implementation of the program, the Committee on Rightsizing the Executive Branch (CREB) shall be established.

The bill also provides for the grant of retirement benefits and separation incentives for personnel who may be affected by the program.

The authority given to the President under this Act, as well as the existence of the CREB, shall end three years after the effectivity of this ACT.

In the meantime, a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Rightsizing Program shall be created to oversee, monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Act.

In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July last year, Marcos urged Congress to support his administration’s priority legislative measures, including the rightsizing bill.

HB 7240 is a consolidation of House Bills 12, 2423, 2787, 2885, 3096, 3227, 3385, 3473, 3529, 3539, 4015, 4086, 4120, 4411 and 4816.

Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, author of HB 12, 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.

With the proposed rightsizing, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman earlier said the government will save a significant amount of the budget which may be used to fund priority projects such as in building much-needed infrastructure, for 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. (PNA)

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