Senator Sonny Angara is pushing for the passage of the Bill of Rights for New Graduates which seeks to provide incentives and social benefits for fresh graduates while they are searching for work or starting a business.
Under Angara’s Senate Bill 313, new graduates from all colleges and universities, and technical-vocational schools would be exempted from fees paid for getting birth certificate, passport, tax identification number, and clearances from the barangay and the National Bureau of Investigation.
New graduates who will venture into business or self-employment will also be exempted from paying fees in securing business or self-employment permits, and will be provided with financial and technical support.
“Our new graduates are required to secure government-issued documents in the course of their employment application. For some, these fees are added burden to the pressures of job search, and can sometimes hinder them from landing a job. Nais nating pagaanin ang kanilang gastusin para mas mapadali ang paghahanap nila ng trabaho,” said Angara, a known advocate of educational and labor reforms.
Moreover, under the proposed measure, new graduates will be exempted from payment of travel tax and airport terminal fees, and will be able to continue to avail of the student discount on transportation fees within one year from graduation date.
They will also be made sponsored members of the Social Security System, PhilHealth and Pag-ibig, and will be exempted from paying monthly contributions for a period of one year from the date of graduation.
To avail of all the privileges enumerated under the Bill of Rights, new graduates will be issued with an incentive card–valid for one year from the date of graduation–by the Public Employment Service Office in their respective city or municipality.
“Providing various incentives to new graduates would be the government’s way to recognize their efforts, perseverance and hard work in school. The Bill of Rights will serve as a reward for completing their studies,” the lawmaker added.
In addition, the bill aims to give new graduates the right to fair assessment and the right to a supportive wage, and seeks to ensure their security of tenure six months after they are hired.
Fresh graduates will be urged to attend an orientation seminar or workshop on basic labor laws and rights, and other useful information on public and private employment.
They will also be encouraged to submit their curriculum vitae to be included in a database that will link them with the appropriate companies or employers.
Meanwhile, those belonging to the top 10 percent of their college shall be exempted from taking the civil service eligibility exam should they opt to join the government sector.
“Through the Bill of Rights, we aim to raise the number of new grads who land a job in a year’s time by increasing their chances at finding suitable posts in the government or in a private firm, or helping them set up their business.
“We should provide our new graduates with opportunities for growth by creating policies that protect their welfare. By investing in our new graduates, we are effectively investing in their future and ultimately, in our country’s development and progress,” Angara said.