Yamsuan seeks decent pay, benefits for civilian staff in PNP, other uniformed agencies
Bicol Saro Partylist Representative Brian Raymund Yamsuan has pressed for the swift passage of a measure that aims to ensure the security of tenure of civilian employees in the country’s law enforcement and related agencies, as well as provide them with decent pay and the same benefits enjoyed by uniformed personnel and other government workers.
A former assistant secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Yamsuan said the proposed Magna Carta for Non-Uniformed Personnel (NUP) that he filed with Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. LRay Villafuerte provides for this measure that stands to benefit civilian employees in the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and all other uniformed agencies.
“Non-uniformed personnel work as partners in protecting the lives of the Filipino people. Their jobs are as valuable as their uniformed counterparts. Hence, this bill seeks to improve the social and economic well-being of all NUP as well as to ensure that their rights are protected,” Yamsuan and Villafuerte said in filing the proposed Magna Carta.
“It also aims to help professionalize our public safety workforce, boost employee morale, and ensure accountability and responsiveness of our institutions,” they added.
The Magna Carta as provided under House Bill (HB) 7981 also covers NUP in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Department of National Defense (DND), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA).
“Our NUP in the PNP, AFP, and other uniformed agencies often work long hours without being justly compensated for such efforts and are at times exposed to high-risk working conditions but lack the benefits, job security, and social protection they deserve,” said Yamsuan, who is also a member of the Committee on Public Order and Safety in the House of Representatives.
Yamsuan also pointed out that thousands of NUP in the police, military, and other uniformed agencies have been left behind when it comes to receiving salaries commensurate to their skills, especially after the increase in the base pay of soldiers, police officers and other uniformed personnel in 2018.
Under HB 7981, Villafuerte and Yamsuan proposed that the salary scales of NUP be the same as that of uniformed personnel.
NUP salaries should also be equal to those paid in other occupations or professions requiring equivalent or similar qualifications, training, and abilities regardless of rank positions, they said.
The basic monthly salary of NUP, including the lowest rank, should ensure that this provides the employee a reasonable and decent standard of living, and shall exclude the subsistence allowance, cost of living allowance, and all other benefits provided under existing laws, the bill states.
Benefits such as overtime pay, night differential pay, longevity pay, laundry allowance of P1,000 per month for those required to wear uniforms; subsidy of one sack of rice per month or its monetary equivalent; quarters allowance for those forced to stay in their workplaces; and a clothing allowance of P6,000 per year for all NUP are provided under the bill.
The bill also grants all NUP hazard allowances equivalent to at least 25 percent of the monthly basic pay for workers receiving salary grade 19 and below and 5 percent for workers with salary grade 20 and above, along with a subsistence allowance equivalent to 3 meals a day.
HB 7981 also entitles all NUP to vacation and sick leaves, study leaves, maternity and paternity leaves, mandatory leave with full payment of 5 days, separation benefits and scholarship privileges for their dependents.
They are also entitled to compensation when injured in the line of duty and free hospitalization when they become ill in performing their official duties as provided under the bill.
All NUP are assured of the security of tenure under the measure, which provides that their services cannot be terminated except for just cause and after due process.
If found by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to have been unjustly dismissed, the bill states that the NUP shall be entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights, and to his/her back wages with interest, along with all other benefits.
Under the bill, the concerned uniformed agencies are mandated to shoulder the continuous training of their respective NUP to sustain the professionalization of the non-uniformed ranks.