Proposed law eyes protection, job security of military reservists

Senate Bill No. 1698 or the proposed “Reservist Employment Rights Act” is seeking to provide protection and job security of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reservists.

The proposed law’s authors are Senators Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Joel Villanueva, Gregorio B. Honasan II, and Loren B. Legarda.

“Hindi po dapat mawalan ng trabaho ang isang Reservist dahil sa pagtugon n’ya sa imbitasyong maglingkod sa bayan, na sa palagay ko’y ang pinakamataas at pinakamarangal na uri ng gawaing maaaring gampanan ng kahit sinong Filipino,” Villanueva said in his co-sponsorship speech.

According to 2017 data, the AFP has a total of 385,116 Reservists or almost three times the number of active force in the AFP.

Under the bill, reservists are entitled to their original position without loss of seniority rights or reduction of pay. Also, their military service should not be considered a break in the employment for retirement purposes.

“We must pass the Reservist Employment Rights Act – a measure that not only ensures proper training and compensation for reservists, but also protects them from discrimination in job hiring, reintegration, promotion, or any benefit of employment,” said Aquino in his co-sponsorship speech.

“We must pass this measure to guarantee that at the end of their required military service, reservists will be reinstated to their civilian careers, and to an equivalent position without loss of seniority or decreased pay,” Aquino added.