More calamity funds, not new agencies: Drilon

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Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon voiced his opinion anew on the proposed creation of agencies in the government, citing the country’s need for more calamity funds and not more appointed Cabinet members.

“What we need today is additional calamity funds, not additional Cabinet members, because once you form a department, you have to appoint a secretary, undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, directors,” Drilon said, referring to the proposals to create a Department of Disaster Resilience.

As of writing, there are seven bills pending before the Senate calling for the creation of new government agencies for disaster resilience, overseas Filipino workers, water, fisheries and aquatic resources, sports, homeland security, and culture.

The senator underscored the huge chunk taken up by salaries for the over a million national government employees in the budget. Drilon said it is ‘eating up’ that should be rationalized sooner rather than later.

“Our budget for salary is eating up everything. In the current year, P1.184 trillion in payroll, next year it will go up to P1.3 trillion. We must rationalize our bureaucracy,” the lawmaker said.

In a Senate hearing last week, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said a review on the existing government agencies would be proper to remove redundant positions and offices before considering bills that will create new departments in its stead.

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