A senator has filed a measure seeking to protect the employment rights of members of the reserve force of our Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) when they render military service for the country.
“The measure aims to ensure that Reservists will be reinstated to their civilian careers by the end of their required military service, whether for training or deployment purposes,” said Sen. Bam Aquino in his Senate Bill No 1607 or the Reservist Employment Rights Act.
Under Sen. Bam’s measure, reservists shall be entitled to their original position, or to a substantially equivalent position, without loss of seniority rights, and diminution of pay.
“This bill also ensures that companies cannot require reservists to use their standard leave credits entitled them for absences, for the military service they are required to render,” added Sen. Bam.
During the Marawi siege, around two battalions from the reserve command were mobilized alongside the regular soldiers of the AFP to fight the terrorists who held the city under siege for five months.
Sen. Bam said some of the reservists temporarily left their jobs behind when they were mobilized to Marawi City. Unfortunately, some of them never regained their old positions or were reassigned to other offices due to their long absence from work.
“This bill also ensures that companies cannot require reservists to use their standard leave credits entitled them for absences, for the military service they are required to render,” said Sen. Bam.
Furthermore, the bill protects reservists who suffered any injury or disability as they would still be entitled to reinstatement as long as they can perform the essential function of their original employment.
The measure also gives adequate training for reservists, compensation for non-reinstatement and military service and penalties for discriminating current and prospective reservists.
“We owe it to these courageous Filipinos to professionalize the Reserve Force. Let’s reward our Reservists the legal rights and protections they deserve,” Sen. Bam pointed out.