IN a bid to address the longstanding challenges faced by civilian or non-uniformed personnel (NUP) in the military and various uniformed agencies, a senior lawmaker has proposed a comprehensive human resources development program (HRDP).
Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte has proposed an HRDP for civilian or NUP in the military and all uniformed agencies to make sure these workers are entitled to the same benefits—merit promotion, training, scholarship grants, and incentive awards—that their uniformed coworkers now enjoy.
Villafuerte’s proposal is embodied in House Bill (HB) 7981.
One noteworthy provision recommends the assignment of married couples, both NUPs, in the same locality, albeit not in the same workplace. Additionally, steps are urged to enable solo parents among NUPs to be assigned to the localities where they reside.
The bill, coauthored by Bicol Saro Rep. Brian Raymund Yamsuan, addresses the challenges faced by civilian employees in the military and uniformed agencies. It acknowledges their crucial role in protecting the Filipino people and aims to rectify issues such as low pay, extended work hours, unsafe working conditions, a lack of benefits, social protection, and job security.
The bill, which creates a Magna Carta for NUP, seeks to professionalize the public safety workforce, boost NUP morale, and enhance institutional responsiveness. Its core objectives include guaranteeing the security of tenure for civilian employees, providing them with fair compensation, and ensuring they enjoy the same benefits as their uniformed colleagues.
The bill covers NUPs or civilian workers in various government agencies, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of National Defense (DND), Bureaus of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Fire Protection (BFP), and Corrections (BuCor), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (Namria).
The bill proposes a Human Resources Development Program (HRDP) to address NUP concerns, covering aspects like merit promotion, performance evaluation, incentive and award systems, job rotation, cross-posting, scholarships, and training grants. All interventions will adhere to the rules and regulations of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
Key provisions of the bill include equalizing the salary scales of NUPs with uniformed personnel and guaranteeing security of tenure. It mandates hazard allowances, laundry allowances, and monthly rice allowances for NUPs. The bill also outlines entitlements such as study leaves, uniform allowances, and leaves for various purposes.
The bill ensures that NUPs are not discriminated against based on gender identity, age, sexual orientation, disability, civil status, creed, religious or political beliefs, or ethnic groupings. It grants them the right to establish or join organizations of their choice and protects them from discriminatory employment practices.
The bill entitles NUP to hazard allowances equivalent to at least 25 percent of the monthly basic salary of workers receiving salary grade 19 and below, and 5 percent for workers with salary grade 20 and above; laundry allowance equivalent to P1,000 monthly for NUP required to wear uniform regularly; and a monthly allowance of 1 sack of rice or its monetary equivalent.