Fresh graduates may soon no longer have to shell out money to pay for government fees and charges for pre-employment document requirements.

The House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading House Bill 172 which provides assistance to new graduates by waiving government fees and charges on the issuance of documents in connection with first-time job applicants.

Cabinet Secretary and former 1st District, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, the principal author of the bill, explained that new graduates will greatly benefit from the waiver of payment on government documents such as police and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearances, the identification card from the Social Security System (SSS), among other documents, for pre-employment purposes, which, he says becomes costly and burdensome, especially for those who are not yet earning.

Nograles stressed that the recommended waiver of fees must not be viewed as a diminution of revenues for the government but as a means to protect the interest of the youth.

“The recommended waiver of fees must not be viewed as a diminution of revenues for the government but as a means to protect the interest of the youth.”

The bill declares that it is the State policy to protect the interest of the youth by providing them opportunities by creating policies that will improve their access to employment.

The bill also seeks to mandate all government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and local government units (LGUs) not to collect fees or charges from new graduates.

Such fee or charge is paid in connection with the application for and the granting of licenses, proof of identification, clearances, certificates, or other required documents.

The application for such license, proof of identification, clearance, certificate, or other documents should be submitted within one year after graduation from high school, college or any vocational or technical course.

To avail of the waiver of fees provided under the bill, the new graduate shall submit a copy of his or her diploma or a certification from the concerned academic, vocational or technical institution that the said graduate has successfully completed the course required.

To avail of the waiver of fees, the new graduate shall submit a copy of his or her diploma or a certification from the concerned academic, vocational or technical institution.

The diploma or certification should clearly state the date of graduation or completion of the degree earned, and should be signed by the institution’s representative.

The said copy of diploma or the certification submitted shall serve as prima facie evidence of the fact of graduation and shall be sufficient for the government agency concerned to grant the waiver.

Any person who is found guilty of falsifying or fabricating any proof of graduation as described in the Act shall be held liable under the Revised Penal Code.

Exceptions to the waiver of fees are those in connection with an application to take a professional licensure examination conducted by the Professional Regulation Commission or an application for a Philippine passport.

The bill provides for the creation of an inter-agency monitoring committee with the Executive Secretary as Chairperson, and the heads of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and other departments, whose participation the committee may deem necessary, as its members.

The committee shall monitor the compliance of the concerned agencies and instrumentalities and may recommend to proper authorities the filing of an administrative complaint against any person who refuses to comply with the provisions of the Act.

 

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