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Congress ratifies bill waiving fees for first-time job-seekers

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job seeker applicant
A job seeker fill up her application form at a job fair. -- PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

A MEASURE exempting graduates and out-of-school youth from fees charged for official documents was ratified by both chambers of Congress on Wednesday.

Senators ratified on Feb. 6 the bicameral conference committee report of Senate Bill No. 1629 and House of Representatives Bill No. 172 or the “First-time Jobseekers Assistance Act” which exempts qualified beneficiaries from fees charged for a number of pre-employment documents.

In the House of Representative, the report was also ratified on Feb. 6, according to a status report on the bill posted on the Congress website.

Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva said in a statement on Thursday, “This proposed law will be a big help for new graduates and first-time job seekers.

In the version of the bill agreed by both chambers, the government documents covered by the law include birth certificates, barangay clearances, police and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearances, marriage certificates, transcripts of records; taxpayer ID, the unified multi-purpose ID (UMID), and medical certificates from public hospitals.

The exemptions are valid for one year after the date of graduation or date of dropping out of school.




The bill is now for transmission to the Office of the President for signing.

Mr. Villanueva said ““We are hopeful that the President will be supportive of our bill that will greatly benefit our young individuals as they enter our country’s workforce.” — Gillian M. Cortez