Diokno: No mass layoffs of state employees

BUDGET Secretary Benjamin Diokno has assured that the quality of public service will not be sacrificed even if the proposed rightsizing of state employees is approved and implemented.

Diokno was reacting to Congress’ approval on third and final reading House Bill 5707 or the Rightsizing the National Government Act adding it will not result to mass layoffs of state employees.

“Primarily, the Rightsizing Program is a reform mechanism that aims to enhance the government’s institutional capacity. Moreover, the program is not about outright downsizing” Diokno said. 

“Rather, it is designed to arrive at the appropriate structure and size of government agencies that will be responsive in the delivery of public goods and services in an effective and efficient manner, at the right time, and at the right cost,” he continued.

Diokno explains that the program will not lead to contractualization in government but instead could be an opportunity to review the functions and operations of agencies and to provide the appropriate staffing to carry out these functions.

 

Minimal effect

Meanwhile, National Unity Party Rep. and Panel Chairman Karlo Alexei Nograles of Davao City directly said that only a small figure will be affected by the program as this is not necessarily mean that all of the government employees will immediately lose their posts.

“Now, the 200,000 state workers that will allegedly be affected (by the program), not all of them will be affected. If ever, about 5 [percent] to 10 percent of the number will really be affected by the rightsizing,” he said.

Government employees who will be affected by the program will not be forced to retire or leave public service as they will be given the option to avail themselves of retirement benefits or separation incentives, or be placed in a manpower pool to be deployed to priority agencies needing additional personnel.

“In fact, those who will be affected will be placed under a training pool, which will retool and retrain them for deployment to another government office. There is another option wherein they could receive a separation package offered by the government through this rightsizing bill” he said. 

“This is optional, this is not firing out, this is not mass layoff. This is not downsizing. We are just correcting the bureaucracy to make it leaner and trimmer, thus making delivery of public service more efficient,” Nograles added.

 

HB 5707

The HB 5707 or the Rightsizing the National Government Act seeks to grant President Rodrigo Duterte the power to eliminate redundant, duplicate, and overlapping functions in all offices under the executive branch to “improve public service delivery.”

The bill covers all agencies of the Executive branch, including departments, bureaus, offices, commissions, boards, councils and all other entities attached to or under their administrative supervisions, government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) not covered by Republic Act 10149, or the GOCC Governance Act of 2011.

Under the rightsizing law, Nograles said a technical working group (TWG) will be created to scrutinize and study the agencies and offices that will be affected.

Meanwhile, the DBM has promised that teachers and health workers will not be affected by rightsizing program.

Upon enactment of the measure, the DBM will need two years to fully implement the program. (Mico Agustin)

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Thursday, 19 October 2017
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