- Duterte vowed to trim down, if not eliminate, redundancy on government offices with the help of Congress
- He also reminded lawmakers that the people are the very reason for the government’s existence
- The President likewise renewed his promise to deliver change
MANILA, Philippines – With the help of Congress, President Rodrigo Duterte said he will address redundancy in government posts, especially those offices under the executive department with parallel and overlapping functions.
In his budget message to the 17th Congress, Duterte urged lawmakers to act immediately on his proposed Streamlining the Government Act, which gives powers to the executive branch to, among others, “conduct a comprehensive review of its functions and organizational structure” and “merge or abolish” agencies with redundant functions.
In defending the proposed measure, Duterte reminded the legislators that the people are the very reason for the government’s existence and that they expect no less from them as elected officials.
“We must remind ourselves of this basic principle: Our people, through their taxes, provide the lifeblood of the government,“ the president said.
Duterte also cited the ballooning government agencies and offices which grew from 176 in 2000 to 186 at present, while at the same time, government positions increased by almost 400,000 to 1.5 million about the same period.
He said the time is ripe now for the “rightsizing” of government offices with overlapping functions to “improve the efficiency of operations and enhance delivery services”.
“We cannot deny that there is fat in government that we must trim,” Duterte told lawmakers. “The government bureaucracy must be lean, clean and nimble to address the people’s urgent needs.”
“I would ask authority from Congress to eliminate redundant, duplicative and overlapping functions and organizations executive branch,” he added.
But along with the Duterte’s proposed streamlining is a reasonable separation package for the personnel who may be affected by the program.
The president also renewed his promise to deliver change in government, even as he emphasized that the bureaucracy must move to effectively implement programs that benefit the poorest.
“I was elected to bring forth real change in the government… Real change, as I said, begins with us and in us,” said the president.