Lawmaker says BBL should ensure welfare of ARMM employees

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/12 November) – The Bangsamoro Basic Law should ensure that thousands of employees of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will not be displaced once the Bangsamoro entity replaces the current regional government Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said.

Marcos said the ARMM employs around 36,000 people, and they fear losing their jobs as “collateral damage” once the ARMM is abolished and replaced by the Bangsamoro.

“One of the concerns raised in all the places we go to conduct hearings (on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law) is the worry of the employees as to what will happen to them since ARMM will be abolished,” Marcos said in a press conference here.

He said the same concern surfaced during the public hearing on the BBL Tuesday in Tawi-Tawi.

Marcos heads the Senate public hearings on the proposed BBL as chair of the Senate committee on local government.

“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,” he said.

Section 9 of Article 16 of the BBL states that the Bangsamoro Transition Authority “shall schedule the gradual phase-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.

He clarified however that not all of the existing offices under the ARMM will be abolished once the new government takes over. (MindaNews)