Senator Joel Villanueva on DBM’s proposal to scale government agencies

PHILIPPINES, July 13 – Press release
July 13, 2022

Senator Joel Villanueva on DBM’s proposal to scale government agencies

We support the measures taken by the national government to improve its efficiency and institutional capacity to deliver public services. But before we start discussing the issue of resizing government bureaucracy, we need to discuss two pressing issues:

First, why is it that about 1 in 10 authorized positions (or 178,128 out of 1,899,925) in national government remain vacant? We want to know how these vacancies will be filled. There should also be a thorough study of the staffing pattern of government agencies to determine if any existing plantilla positions are already obsolete, redundant or unnecessary. We have been bringing this matter to the attention of the executive since 2016, but unfortunately it remains unanswered.

Second, why are there a significant number of government employees under employment order (JO) or contract of service (COS) positions in the government, when there are a lot of positions vacant? Based on Public Service Commission data as of August 2021, there are 100,895 JO and COS positions in national government and over 40,000 additional JO/COS positions are in GOCCs and SUCs.

By addressing these two issues first, DBM can identify agencies that can be scaled up, which could mean an efficient way to deliver public services in the most economical way.

In any case, the government should be ready with its job creation program, in case it determines, after a thorough study, that there really is a need to let certain people go. In fact, we have tabled a bill institutionalizing the National Employment Recovery Strategy to become the National Action Plan for Employment (PNAE) to ensure that the government will have a concrete and achievable strategy to job creation in the years to come.

The Senate is always ready to work with the executive department to find solutions to these problems.

Ashley C. Reynolds