Senate bill seeks 20% discount for indigent job applicants on pre-employment documents

APPLICANTS wait outside an employment agency in Manila on June 08, 2022. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

A BILL granting a 20% discount on fees charged to indigent job applicants for government-issued pre-employment documents has been refiled in the Senate.  

“For the poor Filipinos who are trying to support themselves and their families, the fees on the documents they need to submit are heavy,” Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said in Filipino in a statement on Sunday.   

“The little they can spend on a daily basis is being reduced further by clearances and certificates.”  

Senate Bill 47 or the Indigent Job Applicants Discount Act aims to give poor job seekers assistance by reducing pre-employment costs as they try to find a source of livelihood within the country Philippines or abroad. 

The measure will cover clearances issued by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police, certificate of marriage and certificate of live birth from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and transcript of records and authenticated copy of diploma from state universities and colleges.  

It also includes medical certificate for local employment from any government hospital licensed by the Department of Health, certificate of civil service eligibility from the Civil Service Commission, national certificate and certificate of competency issued by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and other documentary requirements issued by the government that may be required by employers.  

Qualified beneficiaries include those certified by the PSA as living below the poverty threshold as well as members of the government’s conditional cash transfer program known as 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.  

Those who falsify documents or abuse privileges granted provided by the law will face penalties under the Revised Penal Code and will be disqualified from the benefits.   

“He who has less in life should have more in law. This Magsaysay Credo is my guidepost in this bill. The government should always consider the welfare of the Filipino masses,” the senator said.  

A similar measure was approved on final reading at the House of Representatives during the previous Congress, but failed to pass in the Senate. 

Another law, Republic Act 11261 or the First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act, mandates the issuance of these documents for free to those who have not been previously employed. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan