Boon for 1st-time jobseekers

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure that will waive government fees and charges on documents needed by first-time jobseekers for their employment.

Duterte signed Republic Act 11261 or the “First Time Job Seekers Assistance Act” last April 10, Senator Joel Villanueva, the law’s principal author and sponsor, said Tuesday.

Malacañang, however, has yet to release a copy of the new law as of posting.

Under the law, individuals who seek employment for the first time will be able to secure identification documents and clearances issued by the government for free.

These include police and barangay clearance, medical certificates from government clinics and hospitals, NBI certificate, birth and/or marriage certificates, tax identification number (TIN), transcript of records from State Universities and Colleges, and Unified Multi-Purpose ID card (UMID), among other government documents that may be required by employers.

To avail the exemption, applicants shall submit a barangay certification as proof that the individual is a first-time jobseeker. The new law covers not only fresh graduates but also out-of-school youth.

The exemption, however, does not cover fees related to an application to take a professional licensure examination, application for a Philippine passport, authentication of documents from the Department of Foreign Affairs, application for a Career Service Examination, and an application for a driver’s license.