MANILA, Philippines – Senators have agreed to trim the number of congressional oversight committees in a move that is expected to generate an estimated P50 million in annual savings, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Tuesday.
“We have reached a consensus that there is a need to rationalize the oversight committees so that we can save on public funds,” Drilon said in a statement.
“We will rationalize the oversight committees so that we will be able to save funds by the end of the year,” he said.
There are currently 35 oversight committees – 25 created by law and 10 by Senate resolutions.
The 10 are:
*Visiting Forces Agreement
*science and technology
The 25 are:
*on ecological water waste
*clean air act
*clean water act
*anti-money laundering act
*agricultural and fisheries
*Bureau of Internal Revenue
*official development assistance
*Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
*on human security
*overseas Filipino workers, and
Drilon said the Senate could generate an estimated P50 million in annual savings but the Senate leader said they have to decide which oversight committees would be removed and retained.
The rationalization of the oversight committees, Drilon said, was just one of the reforms to be implemented in the 16th Congress.
Oversight committees are ad hoc panels created by law or Senate resolution to monitor the implementation of specific laws.
It was former Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, who first questioned the excessive number of oversight committees after the alleged misuse of the Senate funds was raised against him during the last Congress.
Enrile resigned as Senate President last June and is now the new Minority Leader.