DepED Rationalization Program Implementation Review: An Organizational Alignment Strategy

Continuous improvement in the delivery of public service entails the Department of Education (DepED) to review the implementation of the DepED Rationalization Program to be led by the DepED Central Office through the Office of the Undersecretary for Administration (OUA) and Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development (BHROD). Basically, organizational alignment is one of three (3) major strategies of the DepED towards organizational excellence for 2018 to 2022. Organizational alignment considers the review of the DepED Rationalization Program Implementation and the development of an integrated proposal to the Department of Budget Management (DBM) aimed at aligning the purpose, process, and people towards service excellence.

DepED Rationalization Program

Series of activities were conducted since 2005 as shown in the timeline. In 2005, Executive Order No. 366 was issued which requires for the formulation of the rationalization plan. DepED submitted its first Rationalization Plan Proposal to the DBM. In 2011 and 2012, the Rationalization Plan was revisited by the Change Management Team (CMT). Consultations were conducted on the proposal using 2005’s Approved Budget Ceiling. In 2013, the Rationalization Plan was submitted to DBM for approval. On same year, Republic Act No. 10533, otherwise known as the Enhanced Basic Education Act (K to12 law) took effect.

The five-year implementation of the DepED Rationalization Program started from 2014 to 2018. In 2014 (Year 1), the DepED prepared for actions to those affected employees and released of Notice of Organization Staffing and Compensation Actions (NOSCAs). For 2015 (Year 2), the DepED undergone transition to rationalized structure specifically the ROs and SDOs transition, appointments, and drafting of office functions and job descriptions. Transition to new administration took place in 2016 (Year 3). From 2017 to 2018, DepED ensured organizational strengthening through team formation, alignment to Basic Education M&E Framework, Compendium of Office Functions and Job Descriptions Version 2, and Establishment of Quality Management System (QMS).

From 2019 to 2022, the DepED aims for a modern, professional, pro-active, nimble and nurturing institution through organizational alignment. The first National Consultation on Program Implementation and Inter-Office Coordination on November 7-8, 2018 at St. Giles Hotel, Makati City marked the beginning of this organizational alignment which was also participated by Dr. Jutchel L. Nayra, among others. Definitely, subsequent activities will be conducted on the succeeding years.

Organizational Alignment

Organizational alignment requires the review of the DepED Rationalization Program Implementation consistent to the Executive Order No. 366, s. 2004 and the Rightsizing the National Government Act of 2017.

Executive Order No. 366, s. 2004 (Directing a Strategic Review of the Operations and Organizations of the Executive Branch and Providing Options and Incentives for Government Employees who may be Affected by the Rationalization of the Functions and Agencies of the Executive Branch) requires improving the quality and efficiency of government services delivery by eliminating/minimizing overlaps and duplication, and improving agency performance through the rationalization of service delivery and support system, and organization structure and staffing. According to the BHROD (2018), there is a need to upgrade DepED due to these reasons: (1) SDOs vary in the number of enrollees, teachers, schools, and school districts, the criteria used for determining their size classification; (2) data last used for classifying the SDOs as small, medium, large, and very large was in SY 2012-2013, prior to the implementation of the Senior High School Program and the Rationalization Plan for DepED; and, (3) thirty (30) SDOs have grown in size, particularly due to the increase in enrollment brought about by a shift to the K to 12 curriculum and the inclusion of Head Teachers (HTs), Principals, and Guidance Counselors (GC) in the number of teachers.

The DepED needs to adhere to the policies provided in the Rightsizing the National Government Act of 2017 to improve public service delivery. President Rodrigo R. Duterte gave emphasis on the rightsizing of the government by which he stated that “Even so, we cannot deny that there is fat in government that we must trim. The government bureaucracy must be lean, clean, and nimble to address the people’s urgent needs.” The reason why there is a need in rightsizing the national government is to address government dysfunctions specifically to: (1) agencies with redundant, duplicating or overlapping functions; (2) agencies that have outlived their purpose; and, (3) agency functions that could be better undertaken by the private sector or devolved to LGUs. The rightsizing program is about improving effectiveness and efficiency in government service and ensuring a function-based approach. It is not about forced retirement or separation of personnel and early retirement program.

Organizational alignment enables the DepED to align its organizational purpose, process (system) and people towards performance excellence. The purpose covers the office functions and Key Result Areas (KRAs), Directions/Plans and Budget, Outputs/Programs/Services, and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). The process include standards, work process, operating mechanism, and Citizen’s Charter. The people focuses on job descriptions, job competencies, workload distribution, and Performance Management System. The review include organizational structure and staffing alignment of all offices.

The organizational alignment process flow include (1) office alignment and review, (2) organization review committee validation, (3) Executive Committee Approval, (4) DBM Submission, and (5) Interface with DBM by the ExeCom Portfolio Manager and BHROD. The considerations in the proposal to DBM are: (1) evidence-based justification, (2) functions and job descriptions, (3) supporting the agency’s mandates and directions, (4) process improvements and enhancements, (5) staff modification, (6) source of funds, (7) timeframe of creation, (8) comparison to other positions in DepED, and (9) comparison to other agencies. The Department aims to come up with an integrated proposal that is guided by these principles (1) benefits to the schools, (2) think the entire DepED, (3) realistic and workable proposal, (4) consider the non-negotiables, (5) think long term, think beyond 2022, and (6) more solutions.

Strategic review of the DepED Rationalization Program is an aligning approach of the Department in terms of its purpose, process, and people towards organizational excellence. The convergence of the governance levels, positive values of the DepED officials and employees, and unified support of the stakeholders will contribute to the success of the strategic review and coming up of an integrated proposal to DBM. The technical expertise of the employees from the field offices in the Department will also be tapped by the COs to work on the review and alignment of the organizational structure, systems, and staffing. The transformational process is quite challenging but certainly would be a rewarding opportunity.

     Administrative Officer V