(File photo)

MANILA – The rightsizing plan of the government on the bureaucracy is laudable as it will save “unnecessary costs”, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. said on Monday.

"It should focus on reshaping and revamping the government to save unnecessary costs brought about by inefficiency, but should not be at the expense of our hardworking public servants who are the backbone of our government,” Revilla said in a statement.

He said the thrusts of the administration of President Ferdinand "Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for a lean, efficient and responsive government workforce should always bend towards the welfare of the people “and never against it."

“After all, the heart of all government policies should be guided by the maxim that the welfare of the people is the supreme law," he added.

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman earlier said the rightsizing plan of government workforce is being polished for submission to Congress before the delivery of Marcos’ first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“There are government agencies that have functions that overlap or are redundant. This makes them ineffective and inefficient, and these also entail unnecessary expenses,” she said in a radio interview.

Pangandaman said the proposal for rightsizing will determine which among the 187 government agencies and government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) with about 2 million personnel may be streamlined through merging, restructuring, or abolition.

Senator Sonny Angara said the call to streamline the bureaucracy is probably overdue.

“I personally would not be averse to delegating the power to the executive particularly the DBM as that is part of its mandate,” he said.

Senators Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, Joel Villanueva and Aquilino Pimentel III also support the rightsizing plan.

"There are government agencies that have functions that overlap or are redundant. This makes them ineffective and inefficient, and these also entail unnecessary expenses. Government efforts must be redirected toward carrying out its fundamental duties for the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery," Legarda said.

Escudero, for his part, said the proposal should be studied thoroughly to make sure that those who may be affected are given proper compensation.

"This should be on top of whatever benefits from GSIS [Government Service Insurance System] in order to help them get by and start anew amidst these trying economic times," he said in a statement.

While he agrees to the plan, Villanueva raised questions about positions in the national government still unfilled and the significant number of job order workers.

"By addressing these two issues first, DBM can identify which agencies can be rightsized and this could mean an efficient way of delivering public services in the most economical way," he said.

Pimentel, a minority bloc member, is also ready to work with the executive branch by identifying first the government agencies that will be affected so that the corresponding measure can be drafted by the lawmakers. (PNA)