Press Release
March 14, 2011

Senate approves proposals to professionalize
Bureaucracy and decriminalize vagrancy

The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a legislation seeking to strengthen the bureaucracy by professionalizing the ranks of government managers and executives.

Senate Bill No. 2671, also known as the Career Executive System Act of 2011, is also designed for effective, efficient and responsible administration of government officials. According to Senator Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV, who authored the bill along with Senator Bong Revilla, the passage of the measure would help minimize political appointments and ensure that all government officials are eligible under the Civil Service Law.

"Through this measure, the principles of merit and fitness will be the prevailing norm among our civil servants. It will also insulate the Career Executive System and Career Executive Service Board (CESB) from political interference and encourage the professionalization of our government managers and executives," Trillanes said.

The CESB is a policy-making body responsible for the development, training and administration of civil managers and executives. It was formed to create a continuing pool of well-selected development-oriented career administrators.

Under the bill, the CESB will be transferred to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) from the wings of the Office of the President, a step seen to curb political accommodations, Trillanes added.

"This move will provide harmonization with regard to the policies, rules and regulations pertaining to government personnel with the CSC being the central personnel agency of the government," the senator explained.

Trillanes also said that the legislation would ensure that civil service officials will be prescribed a "fixed tour of duty of three years" during which they cannot be transferred to other offices or positions without their consent. "Our civil servants serve as the backbone of the government. It is necessary for us to install a system which would ensure merit and fitness among our government employees regardless of rank," Trillanes stressed.

Meanwhile, the Senate also approved on third and final reading a bill decriminalizing vagrancy, a proposal Trillanes co-sponsored with five other senators.

Senator Chiz Escudero, chairman of the committee on justice and human rights and principal author of Senate Bill No. 2726, put forward the proposal to remove vagrancy as a criminal offense in the Revised Penal Code because "it has become a common excuse for law enforcers to detain, arrest or bring to the police station any person the police don't have sufficient reasons to arrest or those with no specific crime to charged with."

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