The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in partnership with SM Malls conduct nationwide jobs fair in celebration of Labor Day (May 1). Over 310,000 jobs are offered to qualified applicants. Photo shows applicants line up at Mall Event Center of SM Manila. (MNS photo)

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in partnership with SM Malls conduct nationwide jobs fair in celebration of Labor Day (May 1). Over 310,000 jobs are offered to qualified applicants. Photo shows applicants line up at Mall Event Center of SM Manila. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Fresh graduates applying for a job may no longer need to shell out money to get the requisite pre-employment documents from government if the bill filed by Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing becomes a law.

Under House Bill 5088, individuals will be exempt from paying fees when applying for license, proof of identification, clearances or certificates in any government agencies for one year after graduation. However, the fees collected by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for licensure examinations will not be waived.

Applicants are required to submit a copy of their diploma or certification from the academic, vocational or technical institution they graduated from to the government agencies while applying for a clearance to avail themselves of the exemption. The diploma or certification must clearly state the date of graduation or completion and the course completed or degree earned. It should also be signed by the institution’s duly authorized representative.

Suansing said the waiver of these fees must not be considered as a loss of revenue for the government but as “an investment in the labor force” since obtaining clearances and documents from the government can be burdensome for a cash-strapped job applicant.

“The situation is difficult for the fresh graduate and at times oppressive considering that these new graduates seek employment precisely to obtain a regular income. The family resources are often depleted by the time of graduation because of the high costs of college education,” she said in the bill’s explanatory note.

Among the documents commonly requested by job applicants from the government are clearances from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), identification number from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Social Security System (SSS), and community tax certificate from the local government units (LGUs).

Any person found guilty of falsifying or fabricating his or her proof of graduation will be held liable under Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code. The provision on falsification provides for a penalty of P5,000 and prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, or jail time from two years, four months and one day to as long as six years.

Likewise, government officials or employees will also face administrative sanction if they are found guilty of waiving fees for an applicant who fails to submit the necessary documents.

The bill is pending before the House Committee on Labor and Employment.(MNS)