Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.: Rightsizing executive branch aimed at upskilling, reskilling state workers

2023 April 4

resident Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has ordered a further assessment of the present set-up in the executive branch to determine redundant positions as well as functions that could be merged following a sectoral meeting on the National Government Rightsizing Program (NGRP).

The President made an assurance during the meeting on Tuesday that government rightsizing is not aimed at terminating employees but to serve as a tool to upskill and reskill the current government workforce to improve state services and programs.

The Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) updated the President during the meeting in Malacañan Palace on the status and salient features of the proposed National Government Rightsizing Bill.

The legislation, which is seen to have an implication on the devolution of local government functions, has already passed the third reading at the lower house of Congress.

Section 6 of House Bill No. 7240, or the National Government Rightsizing Act, authorizes the President to right size the operations of agencies in the executive branch.

These include pursuing functional shifts and modifications, implementing organizational actions based on the recommendation of the Committee on Rightsizing the Executive Branch (CREB), undertaking other functional or organizational actions, developing and providing safety nets, and formulating an organizational development program to strengthen agency institutional capacity and to improve employee productivity.

Among the salient provisions of HB No. 7240 are the mandatory coverage of all agencies of the executive branch, including departments, bureaus, offices, commissions, boards, councils, and all other entities attached to or under their administrative supervision, and government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) not covered under Republic Act No. 10149 or the GOCC Governance Act of 2011.

Excluded from the NGRP are teaching and teaching-related positions in schools, medical and allied-medical items in hospitals and other medical facilities, military and uniformed personnel, and GOCCs and government financial institutions covered by the Governance Commission for GOCCs.

The legislature, judiciary, Office of the Ombudsman, constitutional commissions, and local government units (LGUs) may likewise right size their respective offices consistent with the principles and guidelines contained in the NGRP.

Provide better gov’t services

President Marcos, during his 2022 State of the Nation Address (SONA), proposed the passage of the NGRP to enhance the government’s institutional capacity to perform its mandate and provide better services to the people while ensuring optimal and efficient use of resources.

Compared to previous government reorganization efforts, the NGRP, the President emphasized, would entail a comprehensive strategic review of the functions, operations, organization, systems, and processes of different government agencies.

It will also involve massive and transformational initiatives in the agencies concerned, such as mergers, consolidation, splitting, transfer, and even the abolition of some offices.

In response to the President’s SONA pronouncement, several bills were filed in Congress, such as House Bill No. 7240, which was approved by the House of Representatives on its third and final reading last March 14.

Meanwhile, the three bills on the NGRP that were filed in the Senate remain pending at the committee level