THE Duterte administration’s plan to downscale government offices through a “rightsizing” bill will affect at least 900,000 state workers, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Wednesday.
Diokno made the statement following the call by President Rodrigo Duterte during his second State of the Nation Address on Monday for the “rightsizing” of government to improve public services.
“Rightsizing the government will affect 1.5 million government workers, but 600,000 of that number are teachers, and they won’t be included because we need more teachers for the K to 12 program,” he said.
The K to 12 program adds two more years in high school (Grade 11 and Grade 12) and allows students to choose from five subject tracks: academic, science and mathematics, technical-vocational and livelihood, arts and design and sports.
The strategy aims to make senior high school graduates employable, considering that a lot of households cannot afford a college education for their children because of rising costs.
Diokno, however, clarified that right-sizing would not mean mass firing.
“We don’t have a target number. What we are saying is for the last 30 years, we have not reorganized the
government. We have accumulated so many people in government who are no longer useful,” Diokno said.
He suggested the abolition of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), mandated to go after the ill-gotten wealth of former president Ferdinand Marcos and his family.
The PCGG has been able to recover $4 billion of the $10 billion ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses since 1987.
“This is an opportunity to clean up the government employees. They can either retire, or choose the liberal package to stay and undergo retraining so that they will be absorbed by other agencies. There will be no forced firing of people,” Diokno said.
“I, for one, don’t think the PCGG is useful at this time. It has been there for too long,” Diokno added.
A bill on the “Rightsizing of National Government” has been filed in the House by brothers Karlo and Jericho Nograles of Davao City and PBA party-list, respectively. The Senate counterpart of the measure was filed by Sen. Loren Legarda.