The Senate approved the reconciled version of Senate Bill No. 1629 and House of Representatives Bill No. 172, or the "First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act".
Senator Joel Villanueva, author and sponsor of the measure, said the immediate passage of the bill into law would greatly ease the financial burden of first-time jobseekers in acquiring relevant government documents.
He said the bill aims to address the uncertainty being faced by fresh graduates on their school-to-work transition, and to shoulder the cost of fees and charges in obtaining government documents.
First-time jobseekers include fresh graduates, students who have taken leaves of absence and out-of-school youth.
As proof that they are first-time jobseekers, he said the applicants would be required to submit a duly sworn affidavit, stating that he is either a new graduate, an early school leaver, a student taking a leave of absence, he or she is working part-time, or he or she is not engaged in education or employment.
Some of the pre-employment documents a fresh graduate needs include police clearance certificate; NBI clearance; barangay clearance; medical certificate; birth and/or marriage certificate; Tax Identification Number; and other documentary requirements issued by the government that may be required by employers for first-time jobseekers.
Villanueva said the fees and charges for these documents may cost up to PHP2,000.
Some 600,000 fresh graduates are annually expected to benefit from the proposed law.