Reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara lauded President Duterte for signing into law a measure that would exempt first-time jobseekers from paying fees on government-issued documents in connection with their job application.
Angara thanked the President for signing the First-Time Jobseekers Act, which he co-authored in the Senate.
“We express our sincerest gratitude to the President for signing into law this landmark legislation that would exempt an estimated 1.3 million first-time jobseekers annually from paying fees on government-issued documents that are inordinately expensive for people without regular job,” said the lawmaker, who is running under the platform “Alagang Angara.”
“This is one classic example where the government prioritizes the welfare of its people over revenues. While the law would lead to millions of pesos in foregone government profits, it would provide financial relief to cash-strapped jobseekers,” he added.
Data showed that job applicants pay as much as P2,000 for employment requirements, a bulk of this amount is spent for government-issued documents.
The documents covered by the newly enacted law are police clearance, NBI clearance, barangay clearance, medical certificate from public hospitals, birth and marriage certificates, tax identification number, community tax certificate, 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.
“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 expressed hope the law’s implementing rules and regulation would be expedited, so that recent graduates who wish to work could avail of the benefits under the measure.
Under the measure, 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 the benefits, he said.
Angara said this measure would complement the Free College Education Law, which he co-authored.
“Bukod sa libreng kolehiyo, dapat ay gawin na rin nating libre ang paghahanap ng trabaho na magbibigay daan upang umangat ang buhay ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino,” the Harvard-educated legislator said.
The new law 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, lungsod 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.