SEN. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) should rehire employees of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao who will be displaced once the ARMM is dissolved.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate local government committee, said around 30,000 civil servants, majority of them public school teachers, will be affected once the Basic Law on Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR) is enacted.
“That means all employees of ARMM will immediately lose their items, their jobs. Unfortunately, we cannot tell the new government who to hire as new civil servants,” he explained.
But the senator said the welfare of ARMM employees was not forgotten when he crafted the substitute Bangsamoro measure. The bill includes provisions that will ensure that affected workers will receive all benefits and privileges due them.
“We studied this matter thoroughly and we decided to include a provision to make sure those who won’t be rehired in the new government won’t be deprived of any of the rights or benefits they are entitled to receive under our laws,” Marcos said.
Marcos’s measure also provides that the Bangsamoro regional government should comply with the provisions of RA 6656, otherwise known as the “Act to Protect the Security of Tenure of Civil Service Officers And Employees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization.”
It also mandates that “employees who were involuntarily separated as a consequence of the reorganization but who are subsequently absorbed or rehired by the regular Bangsamoro Regional Government shall retain their seniority rights, compensation levels, and other benefits.”
The bill provides that “the gap in the length of service by reason of involuntary separation of an employee as a consequence of the reorganization of the Bangsamoro regional government shall not interrupt the continuity of the employee’s service.”
Plenary debates on the proposed basic law will begin next week with 14 senators expected to interpellate.
Meanwhile, Marcos twitted MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal for comparing the substitute bill to a person with no soul.
The senator said the MILF statement is dictated by its position to press for the approval of the draft BBL without any changes.
“I don’t agree with that. Instead of simply dealing with one group, we brought in the involvement of all the stakeholders, which we believe would actually add more vitality to the system of government in the autonomous region,” Marcos said.