Friday, June 19, 2015

Rep. Andaya seeks pre-employment privileges for indigent job applicants

Rep. Rolando G. Andaya Jr. of the 1st District of Camarines Sur filed a bill granting indigent job applicants 20 percent discount on fees in processing government documents for employment purposes.

Rep. Andaya seeks pre-employment privileges for indigent job applicants
House Bill 5717 mandates that an indigent job applicant shall be given a 20-percent discount in processing clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the barangay.

The job applicant shall also be charged 20-percent less in processing medical certificate from the Department of Health (DOH), Certificates of Marriage and or Birth from the National Statistics Office (NSO) or the Local Civil Registry (LCR) and Certificate of Birth of the indigent applicant's one (1) dependent.

Covered by the bill are job applicants who are seeking gainful employment and have no visible means of income or whose income is insufficient for the subsistence of their families.

They shall be identified and certified as indigent job applicants 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).

Andaya pushed for the immediate approval of the bill to be known as the Indigents Pre-Employment Privilege Act of 2015 saying it is the State's obligation to empower its citizens in fighting poverty.

"The sad truth is that we lack employment opportunities. And even when prospects for employment are present, most Filipinos cannot afford to pay for fees necessary to procure documentary requirements for their job application," Andaya lamented.

Andaya said the least the government can do to lessen the financial burden of indigent Filipino job applicants is to grant them discounts in acquiring pre-employment documents.

"Reducing the processing fee of these documents encourages them to look for jobs in order to become productive members of society," Andaya said.

The bill creates the Inter-Agency Coordinating and Monitoring Committee to ensure that the discounts are being implemented. It shall be composed of the DSWD secretary as the chairperson; National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) chairman as vice chairperson; secretaries of the DOH, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Justice (DOJ) and NSO administrator as members.

The bill penalizes any person, government entity, agency or hospital who refuses or fails to provide the discount with imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than one year or a fine of not less than P10,000 but not more than P50,000 or both.

On the other hand, any job applicant who misinterprets his or her status or falsifies his or her document just to avail of the discount shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than one year or a fine of not less than P5,000 but not more than P10,000 or both.
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