Republic Act No. 11261, otherwise known as the “First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act”, was enacted into law last 10 April 2019.
This law requires government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), Local Government Units (LGUs), and government hospitals to abstain from or stop collecting fees and charges from first time jobseekers when obtaining the following documents:
- Police clearance certificate;
- National Bureau of Investigation clearance;
- Barangay clearance;
- Medical certificate from a public hospital (provided that fees and charges collected for laboratory tests and other medical procedures required for the grant of a medical certificate shall not be free of charge);
- Birth certificate;
- Marriage certificate;
- Transcript of academic records issued by state colleges and universities;
- Tax Identification Number (TIN);
- Unified multi-purposes ID (UMID) card; and
- Other documentary requirements issued by the government that may be required by employers from job applicants.
Touted as a measure to help fresh graduates and first time jobseekers, this simple but certainly relevant law will surely provide significant assistance to those having a hard time looking for work as it is.
In order to qualify as a first-time jobseeker, the job applicant need only obtain a certificate from his or her barangay. It is not clear though whether this certification should likewise be issued free-of-charge by the barangay, but using the rationale of the law and Section 10 thereof, which states that “any ambiguity in the interpretation of the provisions of this Act shall be in favor of the applicant”, it is apparent that it should.
As of this writing, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of this law has yet to be published or promulgated by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).