Press Release
June 1, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel Jr. (PDP-Laban) warned today that he will oppose any attempt by the administration to reinstate the P10 billion fund intended to fund the so-called rationalization plan of the bureaucracy which was earlier slashed by the Senate finance committee.

As the Senate started to wind up its deliberation and approval of the proposed 2006 General Appropriations Act, Pimentel said that there is nothing rational in this rationalization plan because it grossly violates the principles of transparency and participation that is the mark of good governance.

President Arroyo signed Executive Order No. 366 more than a year ago to reorganize the executive branch and provide incentives for government employees who will opt to retire or leave the service in an attempt to reduce the size of the bureaucracy. Malacañang has announced plans to reduce the number of government employees by as much as 30% in an effort to reduce government spending.

The planned reorganization of the executive branch has become controversial as many government employees have decried the vague guidelines for reorganization, lack of transparency, and limited participation of public sector unions in formulating the parameters and evaluating the performance of agencies.

We have no idea why we are being asked to provide P10 billion for Malacañang s employee termination plan. We do not know which agencies will be affected or how many employees will suffer.

Did the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) conduct public hearings and consultations on how best to reorganize the bureaucracy? If so, what are the details and where are the dysfunctions? Pimentel asked.

We have not seen any of their reports. Have they consulted the public sector unions, and more importantly, have they consulted the very sectors and clients of the agencies that they will reorganize? he added.

He challenged Malacañang to produce the details of the rationalization plan so that the Senate can have a more rational review of the proposal before any appropriation can be allowed.

I cannot allow this act initiated by mid-level bureaucrats and perpetrated by their higher ups in the Executive, arrogating unto themselves the powers of the House and the Senate to reorganize the bureaucracy. Clearly, we may be unwittingly delegating our Congressional powers if we allow this proposed budget item to be reinstated, Pimentel said.

Moreover, Pimentel declared that in the absence of a reorganization law passed by Congress, the President can only examine, abolish, and merge agencies created by executive fiat. She cannot abolish those that are created by special law such as government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs).

Unfortunately, said Pimentel, the problematic agencies in government are the government corporations which perennially lose money or duplicate the functions of regular offices. Executive reorganization is thus an exercise in futility if the goal is to radically re-engineer the bureaucracy.

Pimentel is the author of Senate Bill 1145 which seeks to re-engineer the bureaucracy through an independent Commission on Government Re-engineering composed of experts on government operations, financial management, human resource management, the Chairperson of the Public Sector Labor Management Council (PSLMC), and representative of employees unions.

This re-engineering bill, according to Pimentel, calls for thorough studies and consultations, provides incentives twice at least as high as that of EO 366 for voluntary early retirement, and asks for the establishment of safety net mechanisms to protect the welfare of government employees.

Malacañang should just wait for the approval of Senate Bill on Government Re-engineering to pave the way for a more transparent and participatory reorganization of government. The P10B budget is better used for DOST and DSWD programs that directly benefit our people, Pimentel said.

News Latest News Feed