GMA  PREFERS  'LEAN  BUT  WELL-PAID  BUREAUCRACY'

MANILA
, JANUARY 7, 2007 (STAR) President Arroyo recently said she would ask the Department of Budget and Management to study the proposal to exempt non-teaching personnel of the Department of Education from the Rationalization Law.

But the President said outright that she prefers a “lean but well-paid bureaucracy” to a bloated government bureaucracy.

Mrs. Arroyo was reacting to the statement of Manila Schools Superintendent Lourdes Quinones that public schools were suffering from a shortage of janitors and clerks.

The problems hounding the country’s education system were brought up during the meeting of the President with Manila city schools and other education officials held at the cramped principal’s office of the Maceda Integrated School along Buenos Aires St. in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

Also present during the consultations were Education Secretary Jesli Lapus and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.

Only teachers, military men and policemen are exempted from the no-replacement rule of the Rationalization Law, which calls for the trimming down of the government bureaucracy.

Mrs. Arroyo said with the ongoing government computerization program, teachers and other school officials would have less need for clerks. During the meeting, she suggested that the city school officials assign redundant employees to positions vacated by retiring employees, and to areas needing more personnel. – Paolo Romero

PALACE:  HIRING  MANY  ADVISERS  IS  AUTHORITY  ACCORDING  TO  LAW By Marvin Sy

(STAR) There is nothing wrong with President Arroyo’s having several advisers and assistants, Malacañang asserted yesterday.

Presidential Management Staff director general Cerge Remonde pointed out that Mrs. Arroyo has the prerogative to hire as many people as she wants to help her run the government.

Remonde made the justification following a report revealing that based on a government directory, the President has a total of 54 personal advisers and assistants.

Remonde said he discussed the issue with Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita. He said the issue would again be discussed on Monday though he did not say for what purpose.

Remonde, however, stressed the President committed no irregularity in hiring several advisers and assistants since the law allows her a free hand to organize the executive branch of government as she sees fit.

“Under the law, the President is given continuing authority to organize and reorganize the executive department of the government,” Remonde said.

Malacañang has repeatedly explained there are no fixtures in the executive branch, particularly the Cabinet, all of whom are appointed by the President.

The President is currently conducting a performance review of her Cabinet, allowing the possibility of a reorganization depending on the results of the review.

But as far as the President appointing numerous advisers and assistants is concerned, Remonde said this authority cannot be questioned.

He said the President has the authority “to hire all the help that she will need or she thinks is necessary in order to help her government.”

Among the presidential advisers and assistants of the President are former lawmakers and retired generals


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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