Explainer: What Is the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act?

Explainer: First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act and Why You Must Utilize It

People in the workforce are no strangers to all the paperwork one should prepare upon graduation and before applying for employment. This involves multiple trips to different government offices, as well as academic institutions and clinics for one's police clearance, birth certificate, NBI clearance, transcript of records, medical certificate, and so much more.

Applying for these documents requires not just a lot of time but also financial resources because of their fees and charges.

To help young Filipinos find gainful employment, the government signed into law Republic Act (RA) 11261 or the "First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act" on April 10, 2019, which waives the government fees charged for documents required in job applications for first-time jobseekers.

If you're a fresh grad and have not heard of this law, here's what you should know about it and how you can utilize it.

RA No.11261 in a Nutshell

Under the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act or RA No. 11261, government agencies including government hospitals, local government units, and government-owned and -controlled corporations are mandated to not collect fees from first-time jobseekers.

This is in the understanding that such fees and charges are related to the application for and granting of licenses, proofs of identification, clearances, and certificates required for employment in the country or abroad.

What Does the Act Cover?

If you're a fresh graduate or a first-time jobseeker, you can utilize this Act and be exempt from charges when obtaining the following documents:

  • Police clearance certificate
  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance
  • Barangay clearance
  • Medical certificate from a public hospital, granted that the fees for laboratory tests and other medical procedures needed for the medical certificate are not free of cost
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Transcript of academic records from state colleges and universities
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID)
  • Other documents issued by the government that may be required by employers during the job application process

What Does It Not Cover?

While pre-employment documents are waived under the Act, one must note that the Act does not cover fees and charges in the application for a professional licensure exam by the Professional Regulation Commission, as well as the application for a Philippine passport authentication and red ribbon of documents from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Charges in the application for a Career Service Examination under the Civil Service Commission and application for a driver's license under the Land Transportation Office (LTO) are also not covered by the Act.

Moreover, beneficiaries of the Jobstart Program under RA No. 10869 and other laws that offer similar exemptions for government documents are not qualified to utilize the benefits of the Act.

What to Remember

Thinking of availing the benefits of the Act? If yes, first-time jobseekers are required to present a barangay certification proving that it is their first time looking for a job. Anyone found guilty of falsifying their information will be held liable under the Revised Penal Code.

Government agencies are also required to maintain and update a list of all individuals who availed themselves of the Act's benefits. This list must be submitted regularly to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), which will collate all the beneficiaries in a database.

Best of luck with your job hunt!

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