‘Bloated’ anti-poverty body: Maza dismisses 155 consultants

MANILA, Philippines – Secretary Liza Maza of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) cancelled the contracts of dozens of consultants inherited from past administrations, pointing out that they were overpaid and had far outnumbered the organic staff of the agency. 

“We are terminating the services of 155 of these consultants (out of 161) whose number became bloated particularly in the last 6 years, with equally bloated compensation package,” Maza said in press release on Friday, September 1.

“This is an insult to NAPC’s mandate to serve the interest of the poor,” she said.

She has also terminated 82 contractual workers (out of 107), but gave them the option to re-apply for their posts after their qualifications have been evaluated. 

Maza said she is “pursuing options for regularizing contractual employees who have proficiently served for extended period in the agency.” 

The memorandums for the termination of consultancies and contractual services were both issued on Friday, the agency said.

Upon her appointment by President Rodrigo Duterte in July, Maza found that NAPC’s consultants over the last 6 years had ballooned to 161, while the number of contractuals had reached 107.

In comparison, the agency only had 50 people as organic internal staff – about 5 times less than the total number of consultants and contractuals.

“These consultants in oversized quantity were being paid about P5.8 million a month over a 9-month period by the former administration of the NAPC. Total fees paid to consultants alone was approximately P43.5 million or about 36% of the NAPCs annual budget,” Maza said.

Those consultants were assigned to the various units and projects of NAPC, and received compensation either monthly or in tranches. Some consultants received P25,000 a month while others received as much as P540,000 in tranches within the 9-month period. In total, the commission was spending about P5.8 million a month on the fees of these consultants. – Rappler.com