What is the First Time Job Seeker Act?

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Written by nikki

What is the coverage of the First Time Job Seeker Act?

What is the First Time Job Seeker Act
What is the First Time Job Seeker Act?

Looking for a job can be difficult, especially for first-time job seekers. In addition, applying for a job means submitting many required documents. However, these documents are not available for free. And for someone who is not yet earning an income, such fees can become an obstacle.

To help foster a higher chance of employability among Filipinos, a law was passed to waive government charges and fees for pre-employment documentary requirements when first-time job applicants apply for a job.

The intention is to increase the number of Filipinos who can secure jobs and, therefore, boost the employment rate in the country.

What is the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act?

The First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act, also known as Republic Act 11261, was signed into law in response to high unemployment rates in the Philippines. This legislation waives fees and charges associated with pre-employment requirements for first-time job seekers who have not yet received their first paycheck.

The act aims to facilitate employment opportunities for Filipino citizens, both locally and abroad, by reducing the financial burden associated with job applications.

What agencies are covered by First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act

Agencies and Local Government Units covered in the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act

All government agencies and instrumentalities, government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), local government units (LGUs), and government hospitals fall under the scope of the First Time Jobseekers Act.

These entities are required not to collect fees and charges from first-time job seekers for the following pre-employment documents:

  • Police Clearance Certificate;
  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance;
  • Barangay Certificate;
  • Medical Certificate from public or government hospitals*;
  • Birth Certificate;
  • Marriage Certificate;
  • Transcript of academic records issued by state colleges and universities;
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN);
  • Unified multi-purpose ID (UMID) card; and
  • Other government documents that may be required by employers from job applicants

*The medical certificate shall be issued free of charge, provided that the appropriate fees and charges were collected for laboratory tests and other medical procedures required in issuing the medical certificate.

Other documentary requirements covered by the payment exemption are the following:

  • Civil Service Commission Certificate of Eligibility
  • PhilHealth ID
  • Philippine Overseas Welfare Administration certificates
  • Mayor’s clearance issued by the Business Processing and Licensing Office
  • Prosecutor’s clearance
  • Municipal and regional trial court clearances
  • Maritime Industry Authority certificates, and
  • Technical Education and Skills Development Authority national and certificates of competencies**

**This certificate is only available for persons who actually passed TESDA’s competency assessment.

However, the following documents are not covered by the First Time Jobseeker Act:

  • Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Authentication of Documents
  • Career Service Examination
  • Driver’s License
  • Philippines Passport
  • Professional Licensure Examination

What are the benefits of the First Time Jobseekers Act?

The benefits of the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act (Republic Act 11261) aim to ease the financial burden associated with employment requirements and other documents for fresh graduates and first-time job seekers.

Under this act, government agencies, including local government branches, government-owned and controlled corporations, and related entities, are prohibited from collecting government fees and charges from individuals actively seeking employment, whether locally or abroad. These benefits, however, are applicable exclusively to documents required by first-time job seekers.

Who is covered by the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act

Who is Eligible for the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act?

A person intending to work for the first time can only avail of the exempted government services and documents once. To avail, the applicant must only have the following criteria for eligibility:

  • a Filipino citizen
  • a first-time job seeker
  • actively looking for work or employment
  • a resident for at least six (6) months in the barangay where the barangay certification was issued.

The law also considers the following as qualified first-time job seekers:

  • Out-of-school youth
  • Persons who are neither employed nor in school or training
  • Students on leave
  • All students enrolled in any type of learning institution who intend to work while studying at a school, college, or university.

The following students can also qualify as first-time job seekers:

  • A fresh graduate with an associate or bachelor’s degree
  • A student enrolled in a technical vocational course
  • A student with a high school diploma
  • A student who has completed the K–12 educational program.

What is a First Time Job Seekers Barangay Certification?

The certificate for first-time job seekers is an official document issued by the local barangay government unit. This certification states that the person bearing it has been a resident of the locale for at least six (6) months. Ultimately, this is the most important requirement when securing status as a first-time job seeker.

How to obtain a First-Time Jobseeker Barangay Certification?

Here are the steps on how to procure a barangay certificate for first-time job seekers:

  1. Visit the Barangay Center or the office that issues the certificate. You must have been a resident of the said locale for at least six (6) months to be qualified.
  2. Inform the official in charge that you are going to secure the certificate as a first-time job seeker.
  3. Provide any other documents required to prove your Filipino citizenship.

These documents can be any of the following, if applicable:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Police clearance
  • Academic records
  • A technical vocational course certificate or proof of technical education from any learning institution in the country

Security and Availability of Information About First-Time Jobseekers

Through the legislation of Republic Act 11261, a database of first-time jobseekers is kept and updated by relevant and affiliated government agencies. As a result, this guarantees a streamlined and effective execution of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of this law.

In addition, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) was mandated by the government to ensure that this database was secured and up-to-date. Such is to ensure that the option is only available to a potential first-time job seeker once.

Furthermore, the Department of Labor and Employment, working hand in hand with 18 other government agencies, has issued the guidelines for the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act.

This government policy will benefit around 1.3 million graduates and first-time job seekers in the Philippines annually.

Related: Government-mandated benefits for Philippine workers.

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