Department of Labor and Employment
12 July 2019
DOLE issues rules on free documentary requirements for first time jobseekers
To help first time jobseekers secure pre-employment documents, the Department of Labor and Employment, together with 18 other government agencies, issued the guidelines of the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the landmark policy, which waives the fees for government-issued documents and clearances for first time jobseekers, will benefit around 1.3 million graduates annually who are seeking employment for the first time.
“The measure will definitely lessen the financial burden on first time jobseekers in obtaining their pre-employment documentary requirements, and gain decent employment within a shorter period of time,” the Labor Secretary said during the signing ceremony on Thursday at the DOLE Central Office in Manila.
DOLE Assistant Secretary Joji Aragon said that while this translates to P3 billion foregone government revenues, “the government looks at this investment to bring double or triple fold return in achieving a productive human capital and workforce for the nation.”
The IRR highlights the role of every barangay in the issuance of barangay certification for first time jobseekers, the Department of Information and Communications Technology in developing and maintaining the First Time Jobseekers database, the DOLE in heading the Inter-Agency Monitoring Committee, and all other agencies in a one-country team approach, to report to one another in the implementation and enforcement of the Act.
Under RA 11261, all government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations, local government units, and government hospitals shall not collect fees or charges from a first time jobseeker, in connection with their application for and granting of licenses, proofs of identification, clearances, certificates or other documents usually required in the course of employment locally or abroad.
The first time jobseeker may avail the benefits only once, and for one copy of every document or transaction only.
To avail of the benefits, the jobseeker should be a Filipino citizen who is actively seeking employment, locally or abroad, for the first time, as certified by the barangay of which he/she is a resident.
The jobseeker shall secure and present the Barangay Certification stating that he/she is a first time jobseeker and a resident of the Barangay for at least six months.
The validity of availment of the benefits shall be one year from the issuance of the Barangay Certificate.
The first time jobseeker may be a graduate of an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, a completer of a technical-vocational course, or a high school graduate who has completed the K-12 program.
Also eligible are the out-of-school youth, those not employed or engaged in education or training, students taking a leave of absence, or any person intending to work while enrolled in any school, college, university, or learning institution.
Among the covered government transactions are the barangay certification and clearance for first time jobseekers; police clearance; NBI clearance; medical certificate from public hospitals, except for laboratory tests and other medical procedures that are required in the grant of a medical certificate; birth and marriage certificate; transcript of academic records, certificate of graduation/completion, and/or diploma issued by state and local universities and colleges; and Taxpayer’s Identification Number.
Other documentary requirements covered are the CSC Certificate of Eligibility; PhilHealth ID; POEA Certificates; Mayor’s Clearance issued by Business Processing and Licensing Office; Prosecutor’s Clearance; Municipal and Regional Trial Court’s Clearances; MARINA Certificates; and TESDA National Certificates and Certificates of Competencies for those who actually underwent the process of TESDA’s Competency Assessment.
The IRR shall take effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.
Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique Tutay said that there are existing one-stop-shops for pre-employment documentary requirements nationwide, aside from those set up during job fairs, to accommodate first time jobseekers.