For the economy to flourish, efforts must be made to improve the work force’s quality and make it more productive and growth-responsive. As the number of newly graduated students increases, the greater the number of work opportunities should be made available to the public. Aside from the struggle of finding the right job for you, first time jobseekers also share the struggle in acquiring the needed documents for their job application. Luckily, there is an existing act that can help alleviate the current situation of first-time job seekers and that is the Republic Act (R.A.) No. 11261, otherwise known as the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act.
This law seeks to promote full employment and equality of opportunity for gainful employment for Filipino citizens by making more government services accessible and offering incentives to make job access better. In this regard, all government agencies and instrumentalities including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), local government units (LGUs), and government hospitals are tasked not to collect fees or charges from a first-time jobseeker. Fees shall not be collected in connection with the application for and the granting of licenses, proofs of identification, clearances, certificates, or other documents required for employment.
To further understand the concept of first time jobseekers, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) released a list of those who can be considered as beneficiaries of the first time job seeker act. And these are the following;
- Graduates from all schools, colleges, and universities, and learning institutions offering technical-vocational courses.For purposes of this Rule, a graduate is a Filipino who finished an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree from any college or university, or completed a technical-vocational course from any learning institution in the Philippines, as well as high school graduates who have completed the K-12 program;
- An early school leaver or out of school youth (OSY);
- A person not employed or engaged in education or training, who was not previously enrolled in any educational institution or who has not finished secondary education;
- A student taking a leave of absence from an institution offering college or tertiary education or from a technical-vocational course; or
- Any person intending to work while enrolled in any school, college, university, or learning institution offering technical and vocational courses
The above-mentioned characteristics makes a person eligible of the benefits that comes along with the first-time job seekers act however, these are the only documentary requirements issued by the government that may be required by employers from job applicants that will be free of charged.
- Barangay certification and clearance for First Time Jobseekers
- Police clearance issued by the local or national PNP office
- NBI clearance
- Medical certificate from public hospitals, except for laboratory tests and other medical procedure that are required in the grant of a medical certificate
- Birth and marriage certificate issued by PSA
- Transcript of academic records, and/or certificate of graduation/completion, and/or diploma, issued by state colleges and universities and local universities and colleges
- Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN) Issued by the BIR
- Other documentary requirements, such as:
- CSC Certificate of Eligibility;
- Philhealth ID; POEA Certificates;
- Mayor’s Clearance issued by Business Processing and Licensing Office;
- MARINA certificate;
- TESDA National Certificates and Certificates of Competence for those who actually underwent the process of TESDA’s Competence Assessment;
Furthermore, the government agencies involved are required to maintain and update a roster of all people who have been granted free documents under this act, and this roster must be routinely submitted to the Department of Information and Communications Technology in order for this program to be implemented more smoothly (DICT). In turn, the DICT must create a database that should be easily available to all pertinent agencies.
The act establishes an interagency committee in addition to the database, with the heads of the CSC, DICT, Department of Finance (DoF), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), National Youth Commission (NYC), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) serving as members. The Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) serves as the committee’s chairperson. Additionally, each relevant government agency is mandated to take particular actions to ensure that this law is implemented more successfully.
Aside from the given benefits of the first time jobseekers act, the employers are expected to provide these basic benefits to employees who belong to the roster of first time job seekers. The benefits are as follows;
- Health Insurance Benefit
The Philippines’ private employees’ health insurance program is known as PhilHealth. The health insurance program’s monthly contribution amount is 3.5 percent of the employee’s base pay as of 2021. Employee and employer contributions are split equally each month.
- Working hours and holidays
An employee may only work a maximum of eight hours per day in the Philippines, not including an hour for lunch. This does include brief relaxation periods during the working hour. Naturally, even normal working days have exceptions. The decision to extend them rests with the corporation, although every guideline listed below is applicable to all businesses operating within the Philippines.
The workers in the Philippines are entitled to two types of holidays: regular holidays and special holidays. Special (non-working) holidays: On special (non-working) holidays, a no-work no-pay policy is applied. If these days are worked, they can be paid. There are six special holidays a year.
- 13-month pay entitlement
13 month pay, or the colloquially named “13 month salary” is a statutory requirement that employers must provide to certain employees. In the Philippines, 13th-month salary is due to all non-management workers. The salary for the additional month must be paid out by December 24. Some workers choose to get the salary twice, in May and December. The 13th month’s wage is due to workers who have contributed at least one month to an employer. For individuals who work a portion of the year less, this is compensated pro rata. To verify payment has been made, employers must submit a compliance report by 15 January of the following year.
- Retirement benefit
In the Philippines, the Social Security System governs the pension system. A monthly pension can be received by retired employees who made their SSS contributions for at least ten years prior to retirement. Employees who have paid their contribution for fewer than ten years are given a lump sum payment equivalent to the combined contribution of their employers and themselves, plus any interest.
These are just some of the benefits a first-time job seeker may receive from their employers the moment they get hired for work. However, it is undeniable that the pandemic left a lingering effect to the employment rate and career availability of the country. There are not enough job opportunities for fresh graduates and long-time job seekers. Fortunately, there are companies such as Bria Homes who offers employment opportunities. Being the progressive company that they are, Bria Homes continues with their mission in improving Filipino lives. As they continue with their expansion, the company also continues to provide housing and offers employment opportunities to locals as it expands in Calamba. Furthermore, Bria Homes do not only offer affordable housing at accessible location, but can also be a good place to start up your career as a realtor since they also provide virtual internship opportunities to young Filipinos aspiring for a career in real estate.
With all the given benefits and job opportunities to first-time job seekers, one can only hope that may the odds be in his favor for him to land the job he has been seeking.