EDITORIAL| Plugging the loopholes

OF COURSE, there is a need for the government to streamline its operations by looking into which agencies need to be abolished, which need to be merged with another, and which need to stand alone.

Both Secretaries Benjamin Diokno and Vitaliano Aguirre II proposed for the abolition of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), an agency attached to the Department of Justice which Aguirre heads.

Created on February 28, 1986, the PCGG was the first official act of the late President Corazon C. Aquino after being catapulted to the highest government position in the country following a revolt that saw the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, members of his family and cronies leave the country.

Because it was the result of the first action of the late president, the agency has been tasked to recover the so-called ill-gotten wealth of Mr. Marcos, his family and his cronies.

Of late, some government officials, including Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, believed it would be better to abolish the agency as it has outlasted its usefulness. Alvarez led a group of lawmakers who filed a proposal to abolish the agency and transfer its role to the Office of Solicitor General.

So the hanging question is whether the agency needs to continue to exist or it is better to transfer its functions – and maybe its personnel – to another agency, either the DOJ or the OSG.

Based on the government report, it has since recovered about P170 billion since it was created about three decades ago. However, the report did not mention how much has yet to be recovered and whether what the agency is spending is commensurate to what it has recovered as well as what it could still recover.

There are other agencies that have bloated workforces and there are other offices that need to have logical protocols so they could functions the most efficient ways possible.

So if government is serious in streamlining the operations of its agencies as well making sure that its human resources do the tasked placed on them, it must start its experiment with the PCGG. It can be used as a tool in looking at the loopholes in its systems, instead of abolishing it immediately.

Posted in Opinion