382587 dole tesda extend free assistance to jobseekers

DoLE, Tesda extend free assistance to jobseekers

FIRST-TIME jobseekers will now find it easier and more convenient to get their work application requirements from different agencies of government without paying anything or for free.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda,) and 14 other agencies recently signed the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act Joint Operational Guidelines under Republic Act (RA) 11261 or the “First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act.”

The joint operational guidelines institutionalize procedures for all implementers and issuance of pre-employment documents for first-time jobseekers as provided under RA 11261.

For one, Tesda, an attached agency of the DoLE, will not charge any fees for national certificates; certification, authentication and verification; and certificates of competencies from first-time jobseekers who actually underwent the process of competency assessment and need the documents for their job application.

Director General Danilo Cruz on Tuesday said Tesda will work closely with other government agencies to help ease the burden of first-time jobseekers in getting pre-employment documents.

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“The signing of these joint guidelines, which further streamline procedures, signifies the government’s commitment to help our ‘kababayan’ (countrymen) land their first jobs, and effectively increase the youth’s chances for employment,” Cruz added.

The Tesda chief said the agency, being one of the attached agencies of the DoLE, continues to help the country address perennial problems of skills-job mismatch and reduce unemployment among Filipino workers.

RA 11261 was signed into law by then-President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019.

Since the initial implementation of RA 11261, the Labor department said, more than 300,000 have benefited, and an estimated P83 million in government fees have been waived.

Under the law, all government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and -controlled corporations, local government units, and government hospitals shall not collect fees or charges from a first-time jobseeker, provided that such fees or charges are paid in connection with the application for and the granting of licenses, proofs of identification, clearances certificates or other documents usually required in the course of employment locally or abroad.

The benefit, however, can only be availed of only once.

First-time jobseekers availing of the benefits are required to present a barangay (village) certification stating that the applicant is a first-time jobseeker.

Any person found guilty of fabrication or falsification shall be liable under the Revised Penal Code.

The law provides that no fees and other charges shall be collected from first-time jobseekers when obtaining police clearance certificate; NBI 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 and marriage certificates; transcript of academic records issued by state colleges and universities; tax identification number; unified multi-purpose ID card; and other documentary requirements issued by the government that may be required by employers from job applicants.

The waiver of fees and charges provided under the law shall not include those collected in connection with an application to take a professional licensure examination conducted by the Professional Regulation Commission, application for a Philippine passport authentication and red ribbon of documents from the Department of Foreign Affairs, application for a Career Service Examination with the Civil Service Commission, and application for a driver’s license from the Land Transportation Office.

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