The House of Representatives unanimously approves on third and final reading the proposed "Kabalikat Sa Hanapbuhay Act", which seeks to institutionalize a 20 percent discount for indigent job applicants when paying fees and charges for certain government certificates and clearances.
Bill granting discounts to poor jobseekers hurdles House
At a glance
The measure seeking to grant poor job applicants a 20 percent discount when paying fees and charges for certain government certificates and clearances has been given final approval by the House of Representatives.
Garnering a total of 270 affirmative votes during plenary session Monday, May 22 was House Bill (HB) No.8008, known as the "Kabalikat Sa Hanapbuhay Act". The were no negative votes or abstentions.
The bill previously hurdled the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation chaired by 1-Pacman Party-list Rep. Mikee Romero.
“The first big hurdle for indigent jobseekers is the payment of fees for their employment requirements. If the government cannot aid them in hurdling the first obstacle to gainful employment, then I see a failure in public service,” Speaker Martin Romualdez said.
“It is within the government’s power to reduce or waive these fees to give our indigent citizens a head start in landing a job, given that these documentary employment requirements are issued by government agencies themselves. It is my belief that doing this will greatly help many of our citizens,” he added.
Principal authors of the measure include Reps. Romero, Oscar Malapitan, Marissa “Del Mar” Magsino, Lani Mercado Revilla, Gus Tambunting, Marcelino Libanan, and Manuel Jose Dalipe.
The measure defines an indigent jobseeker as “a person who is seeking gainful employment and has no visible means of income or whose income falls below the official poverty threshold, as identified by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and/or cannot afford in a sustained manner to provide their minimum basic needs of food, health, education, housing and other essential amenities of life.”
Under HB No.8008, a 20 percent discount is granted to qualified indigent jobseekers applying for the following documentary requirements:
- Barangay clearance.
- National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance.
- Philippine National Police (PNP) clearance.
- Medical certificate from any government hospital.
- Medical certificate for foreign employment from any Department of Health (DOH)-accredited medical facility for overseas workers and seafarers.
- Marriage certificate from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
- Birth certificate from the PSA.
- National certificate and Certificate of Competency (COC) from Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
- Certificate of Civil Service Eligibility from the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
- Other documentary requirements issued by the government that may be required by employers from indigent job seekers as determined and approved by the Inter-Agency Coordinating and Monitoring Committee established in this Act.
Meanwhile, Section 5 of the measure waives the fees and charges for the following pre-employment documents and cards:
- Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (DIR).
- Transcript of Records, Transfer Credentials, Authenticated Copy of Diploma, and Certificate of Good Moral Character from the State Universities and Colleges, and Local Universities and Colleges of the job seeker.
As per the measure, the indigent jobseeker may avail of the privileges of waived or discounted fees under this Act "only once every six (6) months from each government agency".
The measure also mandates the creation of an Interagency Coordinating and Monitoring Committee headed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment as Chairperson and the Secretary of Interior and Local Government as Vice Chairperson, with members from different agencies such as the Department of Migrant Workers, PSA, PNP, NBI, DOH and others.