A Senate measure was filed seeking to ensure that members of the reserve force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would be reinstated to their careers by the end of their required military service.
Sen. Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV filed Senate Bill 1607, or the Reservist Employment Rights Act, to protect the employment rights of the AFP reserve force.
Under the bill, reservists shall be entitled to their original position, or to a substantially equivalent position, without loss of seniority rights and diminution of pay.
“We owe it to these courageous Filipinos to professionalize the reserve force. Let’s reward our reservists the legal rights and protections they deserve,” Aquino said in filing his measure.
Aquino filed the measure citing reports that around two battalions from the reserve command were mobilized alongside the regular soldiers of the AFP to fight the terrorists who laid siege to Marawi City for five months.
Some of the reservists temporarily left their jobs behind when they were mobilized to Marawi, but never regained their old positions or were reassigned to other offices due to their long absence from work.
Aquino said that his 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.
Moreover, the bill protects reservists who suffered an injury or disability, as they would still be entitled to reinstatement as long as they could 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.