By Marlon Purificacion | Journal Online
SENATOR Bongbong Marcos stressed the need to strengthen the “language” of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to make sure that the 36,000 workforce of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will not become collateral damage once the ARMM is abolished and replaced by the Bangsamoro entity.
Marcos said this during the public hearing he conducted as chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government on the proposed BBL in Tawi-Tawi last Tuesday.
“I think we can strengthen the language (of the BBL) so that the guarantees are made explicit. We need not re-state the guarantees as laid out in the Civil Service Code but we can probably say that the guarantees on tenure, pay grade, etc. are maintained in this reorganization,” Marcos said.
The apprehension of an unjust massive displacement of workers employed in the ARMM once the proposed BBL is enacted was raised during the hearing.
Section 9 of Article 16 states that the BTA (Bangsamoro Transition Authority) “shall schedule the gradual phasing out of offices in the ARMM, which are deemed abolished upon the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.”
“This is where the worries are coming from. That’s why the BBL should be clear and explicit in protecting the interest of the workers by expressing that all the compensation and benefits under the Civil Service Code and other laws will be given,” Marcos said, clarifying that not all, but only most, of the offices will be abolished.
Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said existing laws protecting the welfare of employees to be affected by reorganization will be observed in ARMM.
Ferrer, chair of the GPH panel that negotiated peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said that laws regarding security of tenure, benefits, retirement and other policies will be applied in the reorganization of ARMM.
Once the proposed BBL is enacted into law, the ARMM will be abolished and the Bangsamoro political entity will be established.