Bill exempting first-time jobseekers from gov’t fees gets Senate OK
The Senate has unanimously approved on its third and final reading a measure that would exempt first-time jobseekers from paying government fees and charges on documents needed for their application.
Eighteen senators voted on Monday to approve Senate Bill No. 1629 also known as the “First-time Jobseekers Assistance Act.” No senators abstained or voted against it.
The bill was authored by Senators Joel Villanueva, Sonny Angara, Grace Poe, JV Ejercito, Nancy Binay, Antonio Trillanes IV, Loren Legarda, and Leila de Lima.
Villanueva, chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, immediately hailed the passage of the measure, which he dubbed as the “Kontra-Tambay” bill.
“We welcome the huge support of our colleagues in prioritizing this significant measure that will benefit our fresh graduates and out-of-school youth who usually face difficulties as they undergo school-to-work transition,” he said in a statement.
“It is a great service to the nation, that we provide ways and means for the younger generations’ ease of entrance into the country’s labor force as valuable human resources and productive citizens,” the senator added.
Villanueva said the measure would “greatly ease the financial burden of first-time jobseekers in acquiring government documents they need for their job application.”
First-time jobseekers, as defined in the bill, include fresh graduates, students who have taken leaves of absence, and out-of-school youth.
According to the senator, some of the pre-employment documents a fresh graduate needs include the following:
Police Clearance Certificate
Birth and/or Marriage Certificate
Tax Identification Number
Other documentary requirements issued by the government that may be required by employers for first-time jobseekers.
Villanueva noted the fees and charges for the said documents may cost up to P2,000. This does not include, he said, other expenses for food, fare, printing, and appropriate clothing for job interviews.
If passed into law, he said the bill would greatly benefit around 600,000 fresh graduates annually.
“This legislation will bring far greater benefit to our country and economy. Fresh, eager, skilled, technologically updated, optimistic, and driven younger human resources will be injected into the bloodstream that is our economy. It will indeed be a boost in the country’s economic life and energy,” he said.
The senator then urged the House of Representatives to also pass its countermeasure. /je
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