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Opening Statement: Hearing on the Proposed Rightsizing the National Government Act

February 21, 2017

Opening Statement of Senator Loren Legarda
Hearing on the Proposed Rightsizing the National Government Act
Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation, Subcommittee on SBN 1162 and 1167
21 February 2017 | Recto Room, Senate of the Philippines

 

Good afternoon and welcome to the hearing of the Subcommittee on Senate Bill Nos.  1162 and 1167, under the Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation.

 

I wish to thank our resource persons today as we discuss the proposedRightsizing the National Government Act.

 

During his inaugural speech, the President himself expressed concern over the size of our bureaucracy.  From 176 departments in 2000, there are now 186 departments in the national government. The national government employs about 1.3 million workers or about 1.3% of our population.  The increase in the number of government agencies, without doubt, has a significant impact on our budget.

 

For 2017, 29.57% of our budget of P3.35 trillion (or P990.5 billion) is allocated for Personnel Services (PS), an increase from 2016’s 27.05% (P812 billion) and 2015’s 28.62% (P746 billion).

 

Aside from these budgetary implications, a big bureaucracy has a negative impact on government performance and efficiency. The overlapping jurisdictions and redundant functions of several agencies result in confusing regulatory rules, red tape, and inefficient delivery of public goods and services – all to the detriment of the Filipino people. To continue funding these redundant and outdated agencies is certainly a waste of our limited resources.

 

It is time we address the inefficiencies brought about by our bloated bureaucracy by rationalizing the organizational structure and functions of national government agencies. This Rightsizing Bill seeks to address these concerns and aims to improve government efficiency through a leaner, cleaner, and more competent bureaucracy.