• Negros Occ workers buck ‘rightsizing’

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    BACOLOD CITY: Leaders of the 1,300 regular employees of Negros Occidental said they will remain vigilant about the national government’s plans to implement “rightsizing” of the government bureaucracy.

    Renelo Lastierre, secretary and spokesman of the Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees told The Manila Times on Monday that while they support moves to “put the right person in the right position” the government should ensure that security of tenure of regular employees will not be affected.

    “It is a prerogative of the government,” Lastierre said adding that it is favorable for government as it will mean savings and in turn “will mean more benefits for us.”

    “Our bureaucracy often indiscriminately hires employees who are often not needed,” he said.

    He added that the national government has long been implementing “rationalization and re-organizing” measures in the bureaucracy “in the guise of strengthening its personnel.”

    However, these has resulted instead in the hiring of additional people “that has cost government more money and affected the delivery of basic services,” Lastierre said.

    “We will remain vigilant in monitoring the kind of rightsizing the government will implement especially in protecting the security of tenure of regular employees,” he added.

    The House of Representatives last week approved on third and final reading the measure empowering President Rodrigo Duterte to remove redundancies and overlaps in the government bureaucracy.

    The proposed “Rightsizing the National Government Act of 2017” (House Bill No. 5707) is the first of the priority agenda of Malacañang to be passed by the 17th Congress.

    In his State of the Nation Address, the President mentioned that the reorganization aims to “trim the excess fat and add more muscle” to the bureaucracy.

    Left leaning party-list lawmakers opposed the measure describing it as “massive retrenchment or termination of thousands of government workers” that worsens the “sorry state of hundreds of thousands of contractual employees.”

    The Department of Budget and Management admitted that 16 percent of the 1.6 million government positions, or 255,295 state workers, would be affected in the first year of the implementation of rightsizing.

    The bill grants Duterte the authority to reorganize the bureaucracy by strengthening agencies, phasing out programs better carried out by the private sector and transferring or integrating certain functions.

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