By Ben Rosario
The House of Representatives has passed on third and final reading a bill that will free fresh college graduates from payment of fees and charges for documents required in applying for jobs.
Unanimously passed by the chamber was House Bill 172, which consolidated eight bills proposing the benefit for newly-graduated college students.
Cagayan Rep. Randolph Ting, chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, lauded the House leadership under Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for putting the measure in the Lower House’s legislative priorities.
HB 172 is a consolidation of eight bills filed separately by Reps. Jericho Jonas B. Nograles (PBA Partylist); Victoria Isabel Noel (An Waray Partylist); Raul Tupas (LP, Iloilo) and Harlin Abayon (Aangat Tayo), among other authors.
Also among the principal authors are former Reps. Mark Villar, now Secretary of Public Works, and his wife, Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, now Undersecretary of Justice, also authored separate bills.
Authors said the recommended waiver of fees must not be viewed as a diminution of revenues for the government but as a means to protect the interest of the youth.
HB 172 declares that it is the State policy to protect the interest of the youth by providing them opportunities by creating policies that will improve their access to employment.
Ting said HB 172 proposes to provide assistance to new graduates and make it easier and economical for them to land jobs.
Under the bill all government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations and local government units will be barred from collecting fees or charges from new graduates who seek the issuance of documentary requirements for employment.