by Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan, Businessworld, Feb 27, 2017
THE BUDGET department sees more than a tenth of general civil servants will be affected by the proposed fat-trimming in government agencies within the first year of implementation.
In its report to the Senate committee of civil service last week, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) estimates up to 255,295 general civil servants, or 16% of the 1.6 million total government positions would be affected by the proposed Rightsizing the National Government Act of 2017.
The number does not include teaching, medical, and military positions, as well as positions in Government Owned and Controlled Corporation/Government Financing Institution (GOCCs/GFIs), according to the proposal.
The proposed law, introduced by Senator Loren B. Legarda as Senate Bill No. 1162 in September last year, aims to cut bureaucracy by merging or abolishing agencies with redundant operating functions, to improve efficiency in delivering government service.
Affected personnel will be offered incentives based on the time they held their tenure.
According to the DBM’s simulation report, assuming 15% or 38,294 of the general civil servants would be removed, it would cost the government P54.629 billion, or equivalent to 1.63% of the public budget in 2017, for separation incentives and terminal leave benefits.
The fund that would be saved from the implementation of the rightsizing act amounts to P24.276 billion for the year, which is less than half of the initial cost.
The DBM said that it can recoup the funds used in separation incentives in two years and three months.
Every P8.1 billion saved from manpower cost, the DBM said, would be equivalent to 344 kilometers of roads, or 6,473 classrooms, or about 8,553 barangay health stations.
The Senate proposal came after President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s pronouncement in the President’s Budget Message for Fiscal Year 2017 of trimming the bureaucracy by merging or abolishing government agencies with redundant functions. —