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Second reading of a house measure on government rightsizing obstacles

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Priority legislation that would rightsize the bureaucracy cleared the House of Representatives on second reading, bringing it one step closer to becoming law.

House Bill 7240, the proposed National Government Rightsizing Act, which was mentioned as a legislative priority by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during his first State of the Country Address in July of last year, was approved by the parliament during Wednesday’s plenary session by voice vote.

The measure seeks to improve public service delivery by creating a lean, effective, and responsive government workforce through rightsizing.

All executive branch agencies—including departments, bureaus, offices, commissions, boards of directors, and councils—as well as government-owned or controlled businesses (GOCCs) not covered by Republic Act 10149 or the GOCC Governance Act, will be included in the plan.

In recognition of their significant contributions to Philippine society, the bill shall exempt from the proposed rightsizing certain government positions, including those in education and related fields, hospitals’ medical equipment, and the Departments of National Defense, the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of Justice.

According to the idea, the President would have the power to downsize the executive branch and get rid of any overlapping, redundant, or redundantly performed duties.

Employees who could be impacted by the initiative will get incentives for their separation as well as retirement benefits.

The rightsizing program must be implemented within a three-year timeframe.

Despite the fact that reforming a “bloated bureaucracy” is a difficult task given the “vastness and complexity” of government offices, Speaker Martin Romualdez said the measure’s legislative intent must be carried out in the context of sound governance, enhanced public service delivery, and fiscal responsibility.

The goal of right-sizing the government bureaucracy, according to Romualdez, is to enhance public service delivery by reducing duplication, redundancy, or overlap in functions.

Budget savings from the proposed rightsizing, according to budget secretary Amenah Pangandaman, might be utilized to fund important initiatives like the construction of much-needed infrastructure, social services, health-related programs, and agriculture, among others.

The Marcos administration will choose which of the 187 federal entities with over 2 million employees can be streamlined through merger, restructuring, or abolition under the DBM’s rightsizing strategy.

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