Last week, the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives ratified Senate Bill 1629 and House Bill 172, respectively.
Both bills will enable fresh graduates to avail of their pre-employment documentary requirements for free.
HB 172 and SB 1629: What the Waiver Covers (And What It Doesn’t)
As early as last month, the Philippine Congress already approved House Bill 172. Its aims were to waive all fees and charges connected to the application and granting of documents required to avail of jobs.
Under the proposed bill, concerned government agencies have to waive the fees of first-time job seekers securing pre-employment documents. These include police clearances, postal ID’s, and other such requirements.
However, the waiver only applies to fresh graduates. To qualify, the applicant must submit a copy of their diploma or certificate from their high school, college, or vocational/technical course.
Furthermore, the bill exempts the fees collected for professional licensure examinations and passport applications. So, if you’re a fresh grad eyeing a work visa abroad, you’ll still need to pay the usual processing costs.
Who Benefits From All This?
Senator Joel Villanueva, the principal author of HB 172’s Senate Counterpart, believes the bill would ease the financial burden on first-time job seekers.
“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 was quoted saying.
The First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act could potentially benefit about 600,000 fresh graduates annually. The same goes for out-of-school youth as well.
As of this writing, both Lower and Upper Houses have ratified their respective bills. Thus, a bicameral conference meeting will now convene to work out the differing provisions between both versions. From there, this significant stepping stone for fresh graduates will be one step closer to reality.