TWO members of the House of Representatives have filed measures that will give President Rodrigo Duterte the power to overhaul the bureaucracy.
In filing House Bill 3781, Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles and PBA party-list Rep. Jericho Jonas Nograles underscored the need to arm the President with special power to re-organize and even downsize government agencies.
The purpose, according to the two lawmakers, is to eliminate redundancy of government positions and functions and even remove non-performing personnel.
To be called Rightsizing the National Government Act of 2016, the bill would supplement Executive Order 366, also known as the Rationalization Program, which aims at improving the quality and efficiency of government service delivery by minimizing duplication and improving performance through the rationalization of service delivery and support systems and organization structure and staffing”
Under the proposed Rightsizing Law, the president will be granted the authority to undertake changes in the organizational units or key positions in any department or agency to streamline government operations.
“This is line with the directive made by the President during his inaugural address to streamline the operations of the bureaucracy. We want a responsive government and we can do this by removing redundancies in government processes,” said Rep. Jericho, also the caretaker for the 1st District of Sulu.
Through this proposed law, the president is given the authority to eliminate functions, programs and projects that are deemed redundant, unnecessary, or those duplicating or overlapping between and among the units within the department or with other department/agencies of the National Government.
The bill proposes the authority of the President to abolish, deactivate, group, integrate, merge, consolidate o split national government agencies, including departments, bureaus, offices, commissions, boards, councils and other entities attached to or under their administrative supervision; create, establish or regularize offices; and transfer offices, functions, programs and projects, and/or the corresponding appropriations, equipment, properties, records, personnel, and transactions, from one department/agency to another.
Although the president and the heads of various departments have the administrative authority to hire and fire casual and contractual employees, those who are considered as career personnel or those holding permanent plantilla positions have a security of tenure and even the president has no authority to remove them from office without due process and without any valid justification, the bill said.
The proposal also mandates the creation of a Committee on Rightsizing the National Government to oversee the implementation of the program. The panel will be composed of the Executive Secretary as Chairman and the Secretary of Budget and Management as co-chair, with the Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Chairperson of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the head of the Presidential Management Staff as members.
Through this measure, Rep. Karlo, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, said that the president could finally have the free hand to fully overhaul corrupt and underperforming government agencies.