The Senate on Monday passed on third and final reading the measure that will provide job security and other benefits for military reservists, according to its principal sponsor and co-author, Sen. Bam Aquino.
Via 16-0 vote with no abstention, the Senate approved Senate Bill No. 1698 or the Reservist Employment Rights Act, which promotes the welfare of military reservists in return for their service to the country.
“Ito’y pagkilala natin sa malaking tulong ng ating reservist sa militar, lalo na kapag may kalamidad at sa paglaban sa terorismo,” said Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam said reservists played a key role in the fight to free Marawi City from the clutches of the Maute Group and in rescue and rehabilitation efforts during calamities.
Sen. Bam pushed for the bill’s passage after he was informed during dialogues with members and officials of the Army Reserve Command that some reservists are in danger of losing their jobs as they perform their duty to the country.
“While they risk their lives for the country, they are at risk of losing their livelihood, which should not be the case,” said Sen. Bam, referring to reservists who are entrepreneurs, I.T. professionals, teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, sales agents, security guards and employees of different government agencies.
If enacted into law, the Reservist Employment Rights Act will ensure proper training and compensation for reservists, on top of protection from discrimination in job hiring, reintegration, promotion, or any benefit of employment.
The measure also protects reservists who suffer any injury or disability during their service, ensuring their reintegration to the civilian work force, so long as they can perform the essential function of their original employment.
“Our reservists chose to put their lives on the line for our safety and security. We owe it to them to professionalize the Reserve Force and assure them their employment rights,” stressed Sen. Bam.