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FIRST-TIME JOBSEEKERS ASSISTANCE ACT A TIMELY GIFT FOR FRESH GRADS – VILLANUEVA

Senator Joel Villanueva hailed the recent signing of the First-time Jobseekers Assistance Act (RA 11261) which waives fees and charges on government documents needed by first-time jobseekers for their employment.

Under the law, individuals who seek employment for the first time will be able to secure identification documents and clearances issued by government for free.

These include police and barangay clearance, medical certificates from government clinics and hospitals, National Bureau of Investigation certificates, birth and/or marriage certificates, tax identification numbers (TIN), transcript of records from state schools, and Unified Multi-Purpose ID card (UMID), among other government documents that may be required by employers.

Data shows that job applicants pay as much as P2,000 for these employment requirements notwithstanding other expenses such as additional money for transportation, food, among others.

“Job applicants pay as much as P2,000 for employment requirements.”

First-time applicants will only be asked to submit a barangay certification as proof that the individual is a first-time jobseeker. The law covers not only fresh graduates but also out-of-school youth.

“We warmly welcome the signing of our bill into law as this will financially aid our youth in finding employment. Ang pagsasabatas po ng ating First-time Jobseekers Assistance Act ay hindi lamang isang malaking tulong pinansyal para sa ating kabataan kundi isa ring napapanahong graduation gift para sa ating masisipag na fresh grads,” Villanueva, the law’s principal author and sponsor, said.

“Lubos po tayong nagpapasalamat sa ating Pangulo sa paglagda ng natatanging batas na ito gayundin po sa ating mga kapwa mambabatas na sinuportahan ang ating adbokasiya na tulungan ang ating kabataan sa paghahanap ng disenteng trabaho,” the seasoned legislator.

The First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act is estimated to benefit around 1.3 million first-time jobseekers annually.

According to a study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), it showed that regulations and restrictions on employment arrangements are one of the strong factors influencing school-to-work transition.

The veteran lawmaker, who is also the chairman of Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, explained that “it takes a high school graduate up to three years to find a first job while it takes a college graduate one year to find a first job.”

“It takes a high school graduate up to three years to find a first job.” 

“Ganun po halos katagal ang paghahanap ng trabaho ng ating kabataan kaya sa bisa po ng ating bagong batas, siguradong mapapadali po ang pagkuha nila ng mga dokumento na kailangan nila sa trabaho,” the senator stressed.

“Kung magkakatrabaho po kaagad ang ating mga kabataan at hindi sila tambay, makikinabang po ang lahat, lalo na ang kanilang pamilya na umaasa sa kanila, at mas sisigla pa ang ating ekonomiya,” he added.

The First-time Jobseekers Assistance Act mandates the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in different provinces, municipalities and cities to assist the first-time job seekers in securing the required documents for application.

Concerned government agencies shall maintain an annual roster of all individuals who have been issued documents under the Act and submit the roster to the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), which in turn shall compile a database of the beneficiaries that is accessible to all the agencies.

The law will also create an inter-agency monitoring committee to monitor the compliance of the concerned government agencies granting the waiver of fees and charges. Failure to comply with the Act could result in the filing of administrative charges.

“Sa bisa po ng First-time Jobseekers Assistance Act, mababawasan na po ang pasanin ng ating mga fresh grads sa mga bayarin na kailangan para lamang makakuha ng mga dokumento na kailangan sa kanilang job application. Malaking tulong po ang handog nito sa pagbubukas ng panibagong yugto ng ating fresh grads mula sa kanilang matagumpay na pagtatapos sa eskwelahan patungo sa kanilang job hunting,” Villanueva concluded.

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