The funds for almost 67,000 unfilled positions in the bureaucracy could be a source of conversion by some state agencies, Senator Franklin Drilon has warned.
Drilon, chairman of the Senate finance committee scrutinizing the proposed P1.816 trillion national budget for 2012, said Sunday that a total of P23 billion is currently appropriated in the budget for the hiring of personnel.
“Looking at the entire government structure, there are 66,957 unfilled items which are funded in the current year. Therefore, this a source of conversion not only in the military but also in other agencies which would come in the form of bonuses and other emoluments in addition to the basic pay,” he stated.
Drilon explained that what happens is that a position which is unfilled but is funded will be considered as savings, and will be realigned to other items other than what it is intended to.
“The most abusive was the case of the Armed Forces where there was a lot of conversion to other purposes, resulting in funds for ‘pabaon’ (send-off money),” he pointed out.
And as such, what the proposed 2012 outlay did was that the funds were placed under the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund, which will not be automatically released by the Budget department when there is no actual hiring.
“This is part of transparency and daylight in governance,” Drilon said.