MANILA - Sen. Bam Aquino has filed a bill requiring employers to reinstate military reservists to their civilian careers by the end of their deployment.
Under Senate Bill No. 1607 or the Reservist Employment Rights Act, "reservists shall be entitled to their original position, or to a substantially equivalent position, without loss of seniority rights, and diminution of pay."
In a statement, Aquino said the measure was filed after some Army reservists who were deployed in Marawi City "never regained their old positions or were reassigned to other offices due to their long absence from work."
About two battalions from the reserve command fought alongside soldiers during the five-month battle against terrorists in Marawi City.
Government recently declared the end of hostilities in the Islamic city.
"This 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," Aquino said.
Under the measure, employers must reinstate reservists who sustained injuries during their official deployment unless the injury prohibits them from performing "the essential function" of their civilian employment.
Reservists who will not be reinstated will be given compensation, while companies that undermine the rights of reservists will be penalized.
"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.