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BAGUIO CITY – (June 18, 2021) – Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan has passed a resolution strongly supporting the effective implementation of Republic act No. 11261 otherwise known as the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act and seeking to reiterate its highlights and intensify its public awareness.

In his resolution, Olowan stressed that this act aims to promote full employment and equality of gainful work and opportunities for Filipino citizens by expanding accessibility to government services and providing incentives to improve access to employment.

The First Time Job Seekers Act was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte on April 10, 2019.

Under the act, all government agencies and instrumentalities including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), local government units (LGUs), and government hospitals shall not collect fees or charges from a first time jobseeker, provided, this fee or charge is in connection with the application for and granting of a license, proof of identification, clearance, certificate, or other documents required for employment.

First time jobseekers, as defined by the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the said law, are graduates from all schools, colleges and universities, and learning institutions offering technical-vocational courses.

The IRR further prescribes the qualifications of the assistance for first time jobseekers.  To qualify, the individual should be a Filipino citizen; a first time jobseeker; actively looking for employment; and a resident of the barangay issuing the barangay certificate for at least six  months.

This benefit, however, does not apply to the beneficiaries of the Jobstart Philippines program under Republic Act no. 10869 (An act Institutionalizing the Nationwide Implementation of Jobstart Philippines program and Providing Funds Therefor), also known  as the Jobstart Philippines Act, and other beneficiaries of other laws giving payment exemptions for the documents or transactions enumerated.

Furthermore, it is specifically stated that the following documents collected in connection with specific applications are not within the ambit of the said law: application to take professional licensure examination; application for a Philippine passport authentication and red ribbon documents from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA); application for a Career Service Examination with the Civil Service Commission (CSC); and application or a driver’s license from the Land Transportation Office (LTO). Thus, the government can still collect fees and charges from persons obtaining documents for the above mentioned purposes.

The resolution stated that all barangays within the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Baguio are hereby mandated to carry-out the spirit and intention of Republic Act No. 11261.

Furthermore, the barangays are also urged to include this matter in their agenda during their General Assembly meetings as part of their awareness campaign in their areas of jurisdiction.

Copies of the resolution shall be forwarded to all barangays in the city, to the Public Information Office under the City Mayor’s Office, and to the concerned government agencies for information and appropriate action. –Valleree D. Joseph