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Poe: Expedite release of docs needed by 1st time jobseekers

Sen. Grace Poe asked concerned government agencies to swiftly release documents needed by first-time jobseekers without imposing any charges in adherence to law.

Poe explained that Republic Act 11261 or the First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act which she authored and sponsored mandates concerned government agencies not to collect fees for clearances or documents that they need to land a job.

“We must give our all-out support to every Filipino striving to get a job for the first time,” Poe said.

The senator emphasized that the documents which must be given gratis to first-time jobseekers include the National Bureau of Investigation, police and barangay clearances; birth certificate; tax identification number; unified multi-purpose identification card; transcript of records from state universities and colleges; and other government-issued documents that may be required by employers from job applicants.

“They should not miss the opportunity to begin a career and, in turn, help their families cope with the challenging times,” Poe said.

Speaking at the 78th commencement exercises of the University of Batangas in Batangas City, Poe urged graduates to avail of the benefits of the law that provides support and lessens constraints to clinching employment for the first time.

“The costs of these documents altogether hinder our graduates from pursuing their desired jobs at the outset,” Poe said.

The senator underscored that costs of education have already mired many families in debts. Facing a new round of expenses to comply with documentary job requirements has prohibited many from timely pursuing employment.

Under the law, those availing of the said benefits shall be required to present a barangay certification, which should also be given free of charge and declare that the applicant is a first-time jobseeker.

Any civil servant who unduly refuses to comply with the law shall be subject to administrative and other sanctions, while any person found guilty of fabrication or falsification will be liable under the Revised Penal Code.

Excluded in the list of free documents are driver’s licenses, passport authentication and red ribbon of documents from the Department of Foreign Affairs, and fees for Professional Regulation Commission and Civil Service examinations.

Beneficiaries of the Jobstart program under Republic Act 10869 and other laws that give similar exemptions for the said documents or transactions shall not be qualified to avail of the benefits of the First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act.

“One crucial document may just be the only thing needed by an applicant to complete a job application. Furnishing it to him or her for free can help make a difference,” Poe said. -30-

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