Angara pushes bill giving assistance to first-time jobseekers

MANILA College graduation is once again upon us and majority of fresh graduates will try their luck in the jobs market.

This year also marks the graduation of the first batch of senior high school students under the K-12 program and for many of them, finding jobs will also be the likely path of their choice, thus adding to the number of recent college graduates who will be jobseekers for the first time.

However, job seeking is not all that simple.

Besides looking for a job that is appropriate to one's skills set, there are many documentary requirements needed in job applications and even the lack of one of these requirements may doom the chances of an applicant from landing the job.

These requirements include barangay clearances, birth certificates, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearances, tax identification number and medical certificates, among others.

These documents are not free, and the more application forms one fills out means more money spent by the job seeker and his or her family.

But under a proposed measure being pushed by Senator Sonny Angara, first time jobseekers will no longer need to shell out money for these documents.

Senate Bill 1629 seeks to grant benefits and incentives to new graduates to help them land a job by exempting them from paying government fees and charges on documents needed for their job application.

"Layunin nitong gawing libre ang pagkuha ng mga dokumento na kailangan sa paghahanap ng trabaho. Ito ay para mas mapagaan at mas mapadali ang proseso ng pag-aapply (The aim of this proposed measure is to make free in securing these documents for jobseekers. This way, it would be easier and would facilitate the process of applying for a job)," Angara said.

Under the proposed measure, no fees shall be collected for the following documents: police clearance certificate, NBI clearance, barangay clearance, medical certificate from public hospitals, birth and marriage certificate, tax identification number, unified multi-purpose ID card, and other documentary requirements issued by the government that may be required by employers.

Those who can avail of this 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 technical-vocational institution in the country.

Students taking a leave of absence or those working part-time while enrolled are also qualified to avail the benefits.

Angara said that the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in each province, city and municipality would serve as one-stop shops for applicants.

The bill also mandates PESOs 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, and PhilHealth, among others.

"We want to solve the unemployment problem in the country that's why we are pushing for reforms that will help more Filipinos get a job. 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 (Aside from the free college education, we should make free when one is applying for a job to uplift the lives of every Filipino family)," Angara said.

Source: Philippine News Agency