Press Release
December 19, 2017

Sen. Bam Aquino, AFP join forces to empower more reservists

All three branches of service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) expressed full support behind Sen. Bam Aquino's bill to provide AFP reservists with job security while rendering military service for the country.

"This is one of the ways we show our gratitude for the service you provide," Sen. Bam Aquino expressed to the AFP during the hearing of the Subcommittee for Labor and Employment on Senate Bill No. 1607 or the Reservist Employment Rights Act. Ranking officials from the Air Force, Army and Navy, as well as other stakeholders expressed their full backing of Senate Bill No. 1607, authored by Sen Bam, and all committed to work together to encourage more Filipino reservists to be more active in rendering service to the nation.

According to Rear Admiral Roberto Empedrad, the AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Reservists and Retiree Affairs, SBN 1607 is the much needed reinforcement to fully implement Section 32 of RA 7077.

The AFP official said that the concern of reservists regarding their security of tenure in their civilian jobs hinder the mobilization and training of the kind of reservists most needed by the AFP.

Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad said Senate Bill No. 1607 authored by Sen. Bam amplifies and puts flesh to the provision of Section 32 of RA 7077, which provides for security of tenure for reservists in their civilian jobs.

"The enactment of Senate Bill No. 1607 is very important to us since it will help in the administration of our unsung heroes, our volunteer reservists," said Rear Admiral Empedrad.

Air Force Vice Commander, M/Gen. Jose Tanjuan said Senate Bill 1607 is in harmony with the general provisions of RA 7077, as it particularly strengthens its manpower development provision. He added that the measure also supports the Labor Code's provision covering the security of tenure on employment of reservists undergoing annual duty training and mobilization.

"With the enactment of bill, reservists shall be more motivated and focused on their task since they will be unburdened with the problem of security of tenure and compensation," said M/Gen. Tanjuan.

B/Gen. Gilbery Gapay, chief of staff of the Philippine Army, also expressed full support for the enactment of the measure into law, saying it will help in enhancing one of the most important programs in the Army.

Concerned government agencies, such as Government Service Insurance System, Department of Labor, Social Security System and PAG-IBIG Fund also expressed willingness to help enhance the measure, making it attuned to the present needs of reservists.

Under Sen. Bam's measure, reservists shall be entitled to their original position, or to a substantially equivalent position, without loss of seniority rights, and diminution of pay.

The 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.

Furthermore, the bill protects reservists who suffered any injury or disability as they would still be entitled to reinstatement as long as they can 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 employers in case of discriminating any employee or job applicant for being a reservist.

Sen Bam said that this bill is intended to bolster further the Reserve Force Development program of the AFP and ensure that we encourage more professionals, specialists, and subject matter experts to help in our national security by being active reserve officers of the AFP.

"With this bill, we hope that the Category One types, ages 18 - 35 years old, who are most needed will be more encouraged to sign up and be active," said Sen. Bam.

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