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Displaced ARMM employees to be properly compensated: exec

FACE TO FACE. The coordination panel for transition of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to the anticipated Bangsamoro political entity during a dialogue held Wednesday (Oct. 17, 2018) with ARMM employees at Shariff Kabunsuan Complex, the provisional seat of the ARMM in Cotabato City. (Photo by PNA Cotabato)

COTABATO CITY – The incoming Bangsamoro regional government that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has assured current employees that they will be properly compensated if they opt to retire or will not be accommodated by the new political entity.

The assurance was given by Commissioner Jose Lorena, a member of the Coordination Team for Transition during a dialogue with ARMM employees held late Wednesday at Shariff Kabunsuan Complex, the provisional seat of the ARMM here.

During the forum, a huge number ARMM employees raised concerns with respect to the transition to the new Bangsamoro government as part of the comprehensive peace agreement forged by the government with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, formerly the country’s biggest Moro secessionist group.

The transition process is provided for under Republic Act No. 11045, otherwise known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

The employees raised various issues to Lorena, who explained that affected employees will be remunerated properly.

Topping the issues was the employment status of ARMM personnel who will be affected, once the transition period commences, and the incentives for personnel who would opt to retire, or be separated from service.

Lorena cited Article XVI Section 10 of Republic Act 11045 that states “officials holding appointive positions shall continue to perform their functions in accordance with the phase-out schedule.

Employees in the sectors of health, education, and social welfare shall be absorbed and transferred to the Bangsamoro Government.

The law also stated that “the affected personnel who will not be absorbed in the positions of the new staffing pattern of the different offices in the Bangsamoro Government, whether hired on permanent, temporary, casual, or contractual basis and with appointments attested by the Civil Service Commission, shall be entitled to the applicable retirement, or separation benefits as provided in the Organic Law.”

Employees also asked Lorena on the schedule of the gradual phasing-out of the offices of the ARMM.

He said the transition team is on the process of drafting a plan that will be submitted to the appointed Chief Minister of the new government.

“The Chief Minister will have to review and submit it to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) within 60 days, the BTA will then approve the proposed plan within 10 days,” Lorena said.

“Assuming that the ratification is done on January 21, 2019, perhaps (the schedule of phasing-out) will be April 2019,” he said.

Lorena assured that no regular, casual, job order or any employee will be separated from service without compensation.

To date, the ARMM has over 30, 000 employees, with an estimated 6,000 employees seen to be out of work when the new regional government steps in. (Edwin Fernandez/PNA)

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