BY: Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOI, Diplomate
Rightsizing of the government is now a major thrust of the Duterte Administration. It was among the governance reform initiatives mentioned by President Duterte in his second State of the Nation Address.
The reform on the “size” of the government is long overdue.
While similar measures were pursued during past administrations, particularly during the incumbency of then President and now Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the current size of the government clearly does not speak of the efficient and effective use of the people’s resources. There is no denying that many government agencies have duplicate functions or are no longer productive.
Secretary Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management said that his agency only needs two years to do the rightsizing of government. The time and money that will be spent for this initiative are obviously wise investments as they are expected to yield more valuable long-term returns for the Filipino people.
The rightsizing of the bureaucracy is obviously intended not only to minimize the costs of salaries, wages, allowances and benefits for government employees but also to optimize the effectiveness of the delivery of public services.
The initiative is not simple. The determination of the “right size” of a government agency will involve rationalization of its powers and functions in relation to the powers and functions of other government agencies.
After all, the right size should be anchored on what are expected from each government agency given the overall mandate of the government.
At the micro level, rightsizing of government agencies involves the rationalization of the functions of the each agency’s component units and thereafter the rationalization of the duties and responsibilities of the officials and staff given the rationalized functions of the units.
Government employees need not fear that this initiative will result in the loss of jobs. The Duterte Administration has given assurance that the “loss” of jobs will only for those who will choose to avail of financial packages for voluntary separation or retirement from the service.
One thing is sure though for those who will choose to stay in government – it is most likely that they will have different or additional duties and responsibilities. This is because optimization of human resources is at the core of rightsizing.
A government agency has the right size when its human resources are fully utilized in the timely production and delivery of all public services expected from it given its mandate.