13, 2013

NR # 3194B

Applicants to get 20 percent discounts on government certifications and documents
Job seekers may soon receive a respite from paying fees for pre-employment government certifications and documents needed for employment once a measure filed at the House of Representatives is enacted into law. Rep. Anthony del Rosario (1st District, Davao del Norte) introduced House Bill 64, which gives 20 percent discount on fees charged by government agencies in processing document for employment purposes to indigent job applicant. Del Rosario said the measure, to be known as the Indigents Pre-Employment Privilege Act, would lessen the financial burden on the indigents who are seeking employment and encourage them to be more aggressive in finding jobs, be self-reliant and become productive members of the society. According to Del Rosario, despite the efforts of the government to lessen poverty, “there is still a large segment of the population who cannot liberate themselves from the bondage of poverty because of lack of employment opportunities.” Del Rosario said the discount on employment documents would cover the barangay clearance, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance, Department of Health (DOH) medical certificate, and marriage certificate or birth certificate from the National Statistics Office (NSO). The measure only applies to one indigent job applicant per household and only one of his dependents shall be entitled to the discount. An indigent job seeker refers to a person who is seeking gainful employment who has no visible means of income or whose income is insufficient to the subsistence of his/her family as identified and certified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) based on the criteria set under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR). Person, government entity, agency or hospital who refuses or fails to provide the benefits granted to the indigent in violation of the proposed act shall suffer the penalty of one year imprisonment and a fine of P50,000 or both. Any person who misrepresents his status, abuses the privilege or falsifies any document to avail of benefits under this Act shall be punished with one-year imprisonment and a fine of P10,000 or both. An inter-agency coordinating and monitoring committee to be composed of the DSWD, the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the DOH, and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the NSO, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the NBI shall be created. (30) jc

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