The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Thursday issued guidelines in connection with the Republic Act benefiting people looking for work for the first time.
The DOLE set those guidelines with the cooperation of 18 other government agencies.
According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, under Republic Act No. 11261, or the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act, government agencies — including government-owned and controlled corporations, local government units, and government hospitals — must not charge such job applicants requesting documents such as:
- Proofs of identification,
- Certificates or,
- Other papers required during employment, whether locally or overseas.
Bello said the act will benefit about 1.3 million graduates annually.
“The measure will definitely lessen the financial burden on first-time job seekers in obtaining their pre-employment documentary requirements, and gain decent employment within a shorter period of time,” Bello said during the signing of RA 11261 at the DOLE central cffice in Manila.
DOLE assistant secretary Joji Aragon said that while this act translates to P3 billion in foregone public revenue, “the government looks at this investment to bring (a) double or triple-fold return in achieving a productive human capital and workforce for the nation.”
First-time jobseekers can avail of the benefits just once, and for one copy of every document or transaction only.
To avail of the benefits, the job seeker should be a Filipino citizen who is actively seeking employment, locally or abroad, for the first time, as certified by the barangay of which that person is a resident.
The applicant shall secure and present the barangay certification stating that the person is a first-time jobseeker and a resident of the barangay for at least 6 months.
The validity to avail of the benefits is set for one year from the issuance of the barangay certificate.
The first time jobseeker could be a graduate of an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, someone who completed of a technical-vocational course, or a high-school graduate who has completed the K-12 program.
Also eligible are out-of-school youth, those not employed or engaged in education or training, students taking a leave of absence, or any person intending to work while enrolled in any school, college, university, or learning institution.
Among the covered government transactions covered are:
- Barangay certification and clearance for first time job seekers;
- Police clearance;
- NBI clearance;
- Medical certificate from public hospitals, except for laboratory tests and other medical procedures that are required in the grant of a medical certificate;
- Birth and marriage certificates;
- Transcript of academic records,
- Certificate of graduation/completion, and/or diploma issued by state and local universities and colleges and;
- Taxpayer’s identification number.
Other documentary requirements covered are:
- the CSC certificate of eligibility;
- PhilHealth ID;
- POEA certificates;
- Mayor’s clearance issued by business processing and licensing office;
- Prosecutor’s clearance;
- municipal and regional trial court’s clearances;
- MARINA certificates and;
- TESDA national certificates and certificates of competencies for those who actually underwent the process of TESDA’s competency assessment.
The law shall take effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.
Bureau of Local Employment director Dominique Tutay said there are existing 1-stop shops for pre-employment documentary requirements nationwide, besides those set up during job fairs, to accommodate first-time jobseekers. — With a report from Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News