MANILA — 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.
Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV filed Senate Bill No 1607 or the Reservist Employment Rights Act to protect the employment rights of the AFP reserve force.
Under this, 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 this 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 held Marawi city under siege for five months.
Some of the reservists temporarily left their jobs behind when they were mobilized for Marawi City. However, some of them 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.