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‘Di ba kailangang magtipid? Drilon confused at Duterte’s wish to create 3 new agencies

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President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for Congress to create a separate department focused on disaster management “contradicts” the proposal of one of his own Cabinet member to trim down the bureaucracy.

Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon stressed this on Thursday amid the President’s call during his third State of the Nation Address on July 23 for Congress to create a Department of Disaster Management to harmonize disaster risk mitigation operations.

He noted that the rightsizing bill was proposed by Budget Secretary Ben Diokno.

In November 2016, Senators Loren Legarda and Tito Sotto filed Senate Bill No. 1162 and SBN 1167 respectively designed to eliminate “redundancy” in government functions.

Drilon noted that aside from the Department of Disaster Management, there are two pending bills in the Senate creating the Department of Housing and Department of Culture.

“This is the third department (being proposed). I would like to hear Secretary Diokno and express his views on these departments being created,” Drilon said in a media forum.

“Is this consistent with the rightsizing bill? I don’t think so. What we can do is strengthen the Office of Civil Defense rather than having a new department,” he said.

He added, “The general feeling is, if we push the rightsizing of the bureaucracy, the policy then, is to reduce the size of the bureaucracy.”

“This is not consistent with creating at least three departments. It will be (a) disaster,” Drilon said.

SBN 1162 aims to “rightsize the organizational structures of the government, covering all national government agencies, including departments, bureaus, offices, commissions, boards, councils, and all other entities attached to or under their administrative supervision, to simplify systems and processes, and to attain expediency in frontline services.”

SBN 1167 calls for the creation of a Committee on Rightsizing the National Government to be chaired by the Executive Secretary with the Secretary of Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Director General of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Chairperson of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), and head of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) as members.