Reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara is calling on President Duterte to sign into law a measure that would exempt an estimated 1.3 million first-time jobseekers from paying fees on government-issued documents in connection with their job application.
These documents include police clearance, NBI clearance, barangay clearance, medical certificate from public hospitals, birth and marriage certificates, tax identification number, community tax certificate, certification of eligibility, multi-purpose ID card, and other documentary requirements issued by the government that may be required by employers.
“Searching for a job can be costly and this measure can help to ease a bit the financial burden first-time jobseekers are faced with,” Angara said, as he noted that securing all these government-issued documents is inordinately expensive for people without regular income.
“The costs of looking for work often lead to perverse outcome where jobseekers, having fallen into debt to meet these costs, find themselves worse off before and even unable to pay for basic like food,” Angara pointed out.
Data showed that job applicants pay as much as P2,000 for employment requirements, a bulk of this amount is spent on government-issued documents.
The enrolled copy of the proposed First-Time Jobseekers Act has already been sent to Malacañang for the President’s signature.
Angara expressed hope the bill will be enacted soon and its implementing rules and regulations expedited, so that recent graduates who wish to work could avail of the benefits under the measure.
Under the bill, those who can avail of the incentive are new graduates who completed the K-12 program, a bachelor’s degree or a technical-vocational course from any school, college, university or tech-voc institution in the country.
Students taking a leave of absence or those working part-time while enrolled are also qualified to avail of the benefits, he said.
Angara said this measure would complement the Free College Education Law, which he co-authored.
“Bukod a libreng kolehiyo, dapat ay gawin na rin nating libre ang paghahanap ng trabaho na magbibigay daan upang umangat ang buhay ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino,” said the lawmaker from Aurora, who is running under the platform “Alagang Angara.”
The First-Time Jobseekers Bill mandates Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in every province, city and municipality to assist first-time jobseekers in securing all required documents for their job application, certification or clearance, and in registering or enrolling them with relevant government agencies, such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Social Security System, Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, among others.
“Ang mga PESO sa bawat lalawigan, lunsod at munisipalidad ay dapat magsilbing one-stop shop para sa mga bagong aplikante,” said Angara, who sponsored the law strengthening PESO under the Department of Labor and Employment.