Villanueva passes bill that waives gov’t fees for fresh grads, first-time jobseekers

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joel Villanueva has authored a bill that allows fresh graduates to process and receive government documents for free.
Villanueva passes bill that waives gov’t fees for fresh grads

Villanueva passes bill that waives gov’t fees for fresh grads
The First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act of 2017 will prohibit government agencies to collect fees from first-time jobseekers or fresh graduates | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Joel Villanueva

The Senate Bill No. 1629 or the First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act of 2017, will grant fresh graduates or first-time jobseekers to free access to government documents.

Government agencies will not be allowed to charge fees when fresh grads apply for their pre-employment documents such as National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), police and barangay clearances, and proof of identification such as Postal ID, among others.

It does not, however, include fees for professional licensure examination, Philippine passport and driver’s license.

The SB 1629’s counterpart in the lower House, House Bill 172 has just passed the third and final reading.

Villanueva, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, has lauded the approval of the Congress. He said, “As principal author and sponsor of the First-time Jobseekers Assistance Act in the Senate, we look forward to the immediate passage of this bill into law.”

Villanueva believes that once the bill is enacted, it will help as much as 600,000 fresh graduates annually as well as out-of-school youth.

Easing the first-time jobseekers of a few financial burden would be a great way to give them support, Villanueva added.

“It is a great service to the nation, that we provide ways and means for the younger generations’ ease of entrance into the country’s labor force as valuable human resources and productive citizens,” the senator explained.

A bicameral conference committee meeting is expected to convene to further discuss the bill.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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