PRRD Signs Law to Waive Fees for First-Time Jobseekers

Part of the challenges of landing a job in the Philippines are the designated fees to be paid, which remains to be a burden for those looking for jobs – but more so for first time applicants.

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As the government aims to create more jobs for Filipinos through various labour mechanisms and legislation implemented on the national level, part of the equation that needs to be solved falls in the hands of the government as well as employers. That being said, in order to address unemployment in the country, manpower resources (workers), the government, as well as businesses (employers) all have to play a part to come up with a sustainable solution for all stakeholders.

PRRD Signs Law to Waive Fees for First-Time Jobseekers
Credits: PNA

First Time Jobseekers No Longer Have to Pay Government Fees

For its part, the government announced that first-time job seekers will no longer have to pay government-issued documents required by employers, as shared in a report by the Philippine Star.

On April 10, President Duterte has given his stamp on this initiative by signing a measure into a law, also known as Republic Act No. 11261 or the “First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act,” which calls to waive the fees in the issuance of government documents required in the employment application of first-time jobseekers.

Under the said law, all government agencies and instrumentalities – including state-run firms, local governments, and government hospitals – should not collect fees or charges from a first-time job seeker. This benefit can only be availed of once as per the law.

The documents covered by the above mentioned law include the following:

  • police clearance certificate,
  • National Bureau of Investigation clearance,
  • barangay clearance,
  • medical certificate from a public hospital,
  • birth certificate,
  • marriage certificate,
  • transcript of academic records issued by state colleges and universities,
  • tax identification number,
  • unified multi-purpose ID, and
  • other documentary requirements issued by the government

To verify eligibility for this benefit, an applicant must only present a barangay certification stating he or she is a first-time job seeker.

For their part, government agencies and offices will be required to create and maintain a list of all individuals who have been issued the above documents for free, as spearheaded by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

As per the provisions of the law, the waiver of fees and charges will not cover applications for professional licensure examinations, passport authentication and red ribbon of documents from the Department of Foreign Affairs, career service examination, and driver’s license, among others.

Furthermore, beneficiaries of the Jobstart Program and other laws that provide similar exemptions for documents or transactions cannot avail of the provisions under the First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act.

This law should be a big boost for the unemployed sector, which is in part composed of new graduates from universities and colleges that pile up every year.

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