What really is ‘rightsizing’?

THE buzzword nowadays is “rightsizing.” It started when President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. used the word in his inaugural address, saying he will reorganize the government bureaucracy. People heard this as cutting the organizational chart to size, or having the right size of personnel complement to run the government.

Every administration in the nation’s recent history has admitted that the bureaucracy is bloated. Several offices have overlapping functions and powers, a situation engendered for the most part by the Executive department’s desire to give jobs and positions to political supporters. But it is not only the executive and local officials who are at fault. The Legislative and Judicial branches also share the responsibility here.

The concern of many government workers is the loss of jobs that might occur extensively in the process of “rightsizing.” This is inevitable, since the administration will have to dissolve some offices and it has already done so, in the case of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and the Cabinet Secretariat. Changes in the Presidential Communications Operations Office were also implemented to achieve the scaling down of personnel and operations.

It is somewhat reassuring, though, that Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman has announced that Marcos’ idea of “rightsizing” will not necessarily cause the layoffs of thousands of government workers.

This means allocations for government salaries will be pruned in some departments and infused in other agencies which are handling very important services, such as the education and health sectors.

The budget department’s position is removing the unwanted fat in some offices and transferring people to other departments where additional personnel is needed. But this will need massive retooling and retraining for the workers to be displaced, and here is where Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, incoming chair of the Senate labor committee, has a relevant comment. Estrada thinks the whole process will create a serious jobs mismatch.

The senator proposed that the issue be “deliberated upon extensively” because he has a lot of concerns on “rightsizing.”

Here, we agree with Senator Jinggoy, the incoming chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, a panel he headed before. – Malaya Business Insight