government agencies

10 Palace Offices Abolished

10 Palace Offices Abolished
Aquino’s move saves P304.62 million

By GENALYN KABILING and RIO ROSE RIBAYA
Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines — In a display of leadership by example, President Aquino has slashed his own budget to P4.075 billion in 2011 following the abolition of 10 redundant offices under his wing and other cost-cutting measures.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said the proposed outlay of the Office of the President (OP) is P183.9 million lower than this year’s budget in line with the government’s plans to streamline the operations in the executive department.

In a public hearing before the House Committee on Appropriations Thursday morning, Ochoa said that the abolition of 10 locally funded projects (LFPs) will save the government a total of P304.62 million in expenditure budget for 2011.

“Our philosophy is to streamline the operations of the Office of the President so we can cut unnecessary spending and use our resources where they are needed most,” Ochoa explained.

“The President wants to lead by example. He cannot ask other agencies to cut costs if his own office is not prudent in the use of the people’s money,” he added.

In a statement issued Wednesday night, Ochoa said the Palace staff reduced the OP budget due to the abolition of 10 LFPs, which duplicated the functions of other agencies.

He said the government could save as much as P304.62 million with the abolition of LFPs attached under the OP – the Mindanao Development Council, Office of the North Luzon Quadrangle Area, Office of External Affairs, Presidential Anti-Graft Commission, Minerals Development Council, Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group, Luzon Urban Beltway Super Region, Bicol River Basin Watershed Management Project, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change, and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on New Government Centers.

“Our philosophy is to streamline the operations of the Office of the President so we can cut unnecessary spending and use our resources where they are needed most,” Ochoa said.

But the Executive Secretary assured that the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process, Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission, Presidential Visiting Forces Agreement Commission, Commission on Information and Communications Technology, and the EDSA People Power Commission will be retained.

The newly-established the Philippine Truth Commission, and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office as well as the Commission on Maritime Affairs will be under the Office of the President.

He said the OP likewise cut its maintenance, operating, and other expenses from P2.64 billion in 2010 P2.48 billion in 2011.

The budget for personal services was shrunk to P1.57 billion in 2011 from P1.58 billion this year, despite the release of the second tranche of salary increases for OP employees.

Ochoa said funds for professional services or consultancies were likewise from P390.8 million in 2010 to P238.1 million next year.

The measly budget cut in the OP came amid protests from other government agencies who got significant reductions in their outlay for next year.

The judiciary has also complained the budget cut proposed by the executive branch in its proposed 2011 budget. From P27 billion proposed by the judiciary, the Palace endorsed only P14 billion for next year.

President Aquino has disclosed plans to meet with Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona to iron out the court’s concerns on the budget reductions in 2011

BSAIII action plan on corruption

A Social Contract with the Filipino People

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Action Plan on Corruption

Corruption is the main cause of poverty in the country and the reason why Filipinos have lost trust in government. Noynoy Aquino believes that corruption is not part of our culture and that Filipinos are honest, decent, fair and hardworking. Honest and competent public officers and a professional and accountable civil service supported by active people’s participation will remove corruption and restore trust in government.

As President, Noynoy Aquino will lead the fight against corruption and restore trust in government.

  • Noynoy Aquino will appoint public officials based on their integrity, qualifications and performance record and will hold them accountable to the highest ethical standards of public office.
    • As required by law, all Department Secretaries, Heads of Agencies, and senior officials from Director to Undersecretaries will be required to have their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) available and accessible to the public.
  • An Aquino Administration will ensure transparency and citizen’s participation in crafting and implementing laws, rules and regulations and in monitoring the programs, projects and transactions of government.
    • Uphold the people’s right to information on matters of public concern and support the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill in Congress.
    • To enable citizens to help stop corruption, information about the government’s budget shall be organized, packaged and distributed to the media regularly and posted in the internet so the public may know, understand and monitor how their money is spent.
    • Strengthen people’s participation with simple and clear procedures for citizens to monitor all government projects and report their feedback through accessible means.
  • Strengthening the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Ombudsman will be a top priority in the campaign against corruption. We will fully implement the recently passed Prosecution Service Act in order to strengthen the national prosecution service, attract qualified lawyers, and institutionalize a more effective witness protection program while improving training and equipment.
  • Ensure the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman by appointing a competent and credible Ombudsman who will be true to the mandate of the office and will pursue unresolved cases of corruption and human rights abuses committed by public officers.
  • An Aquino Administration will put into place a “zero-based” budgeting system to enhance transparency and improve efficiency.
    • Budget allocations for the different agencies of government will be shaped by their performance and their compliance with the reports of the Commission on Audit (COA).
  • Noynoy Aquino respects the professional bureaucracy and will establish ways to motivate and energize the professional bureaucracy.
    • Qualification standards, especially on eligibility, will be strictly followed, and at least half of the positions of Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries will be filled by honest and competent career civil servants to ensure continuity and sustainability of effective policies and programs.
    • Government offices will be streamlined and rationalized so that agencies have clear cut and distinct mandates in order to spur greater efficiency and accountability.
    • Performances of government agencies and civil servants will be evaluated rationally and systematically through an effective and measurable performance management system to be approved by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
    • The Civil Service Commission (CSC) Performance Management System-Office Performance Evaluation System (PMS-OPES) will be linked with the DBM Organizational Performance Indicator Framework (OPIF) to ensure accountability of government agencies and officials.
    • Review the mandates and performance of government agencies and Government Owned or Controlled Corporations (GOCCs).

[Archived from the official campaign web site of President Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino III]

BSAIII action plan on the economy

Economy: Walang Maiiwan!

Action Plan on the Economy

Underlying all the problems and weaknesses of the country and the economy is corruption and the weakening of our democratic institutions. We will restore trust in government by emphasizing good governance and anti-corruption to increase investment, regain people’s trust to pay proper taxes and ensure that the people’s money is well spent.

  • We will uphold the people’s right to information on matters of public concern and vigorously support the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill in Congress
  • We will ensure transparency and citizen’s participation in crafting and implementing laws, rules and regulations and in monitoring the programs, projects and transactions of government
  • We will put into place a “zero-based” budgeting system to enhance transparency and improve efficiency.
  • Budget allocations for the different agencies of government will be shaped by their performance and their compliance with the reports of the Commission on Audit (COA)
  • Qualification standards, especially on eligibility, will be strictly followed, and at least half of the positions of Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries will be filled by honest and competent career civil servants to ensure continuity and sustainability of effective policies and programs
  • Performances of government agencies and civil servants will be evaluated rationally and systematically through an effective and measurable performance management system to be approved by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

We will have broad based and inclusive economic growth through increased incomes by generating quality jobs and attracting more investments.

  • We will have a government that is not corrupt and is business-friendly, thus lowering the cost of doing business and production in the country.
  • We will reduce red tape, reducing the number of processes required to do business in the country.
  • We will improve infrastructure in transportation and housing, which will generate jobs and also support investments.
  • We will directly target industries with the greatest potential for growth and where the Philippines has a competitive advantage, industries that have already been identified by domestic and foreign business groups and include agribusiness, business process outsourcing, creative industries, infrastructure, manufacturing and logistics, socially responsible mining and tourism and retirement.
  • In the immediate short term, we will take care of the most vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society through programs such as conditional cash transfers dedicated, among others, to keeping healthy young children in school.
  • We will promote entrepreneurship that provides employment, helping small and medium firms with access to credit and diffusion of technologies and skills.
  • We will focus investment expenditure in the very urgent need to invest in education (especially in early childhood education) and in health.
  • We will promote technical/vocational schools to strengthen the labor supply and better match the needs of enterprises.

A clean government will facilitate macroeconomic stability, reigning in the record level deficits of the current administration, and bringing down the debt-to-GDP ratio.

  • We will plug revenue leakages by having competent and trustworthy tax collectors, broadening the tax base.
  • We will instruct DBM to lead an internal government review of all its costs and present a plan to reduce government overhead within six months.
  • We will review policies and programs to enhance productivity and modernize the agricultural sector.

[Archived from the official campaign web site of President Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino III]