First-time jobseekers exempted from paying gov’t fees on documents

By Genalyn Kabiling

First-time jobseekers will be exempted from paying government fees and charges on documents needed for job application under a new law signed by President Duterte.

President Duterte signs Republic Act No. 11261 or First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act (MALACAÑANG / VIA GENALYN KABILING / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Duterte signs Republic Act No. 11261 or First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act (MALACAÑANG / VIA GENALYN KABILING / MANILA BULLETIN)

Republic Act No. 11261, signed by the President last April 10 and released by the Palace Tuesday, is also known as the “First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act.”

“It is the policy of the State to promote full employment and equality of gainful work and opportunities for its citizens. As such, the State shall expand accessibility to government services and provide incentives to improve a first time jobseeker’s access to employment,” the law read.

Under the law, all government agencies, local government units, and government hospitals have been directed “not to collect” fees or charges from a first time jobseeker. Such benefit provided under RA 11261 shall only be availed once.

No fees will be collected in obtaining police clearance, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, barangay clearance, birth certificate, marriage certificate, transcript of records, tax identification number, unified multi-purpose identification card, medical certificate from a public hospital, and other documentary requirements issued by the government required for first-time job applicants.

To avail of the waiver of fees and charges, the person must present a barangay certification stating the applicant is a first-time jobseeker.

The Public Employment Service Office in different provinces, cities, and municipalities have also been directed to help the jobseekers in securing the pre-employment requirements from government agencies.

The waiver of fees and charges, however, will not include those collected in connection with the application to take a professional licensure exam, Philippine passport authentication and red ribbon of documents from the Department of Foreign Affairs, application for a Career Service Examination, and application for a driver’s license.

Excluded from availing the benefit will be beneficiaries of the Jobstart Program under Republic Act No. 10869 and other laws that give a similar exemption for transactions.

The law takes effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper.