House ap­proves bill waiv­ing gov’t fees for fresh grad­u­ates

Business World - - The Nation - By Char­maine A. Tadalan Re­porter

THE HOUSE of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Mon­day ap­proved the bill ex­empt­ing fresh grad­u­ates from gov­ern­ment fees on pre-em­ploy­ment re­quire­ments.

With 200 af­fir­ma­tive votes and zero neg­a­tive, the cham­ber ap­proved House Bill No. 172 which in­tends to pro­vide as­sis­tance to new grad­u­ates by waiv­ing fees and charges.

If en­acted, the bill stated that all gov­ern­ment agen­cies, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment-owned and -con­trolled cor­po­ra­tions (GOCCs) and lo­cal gov­ern­ment units, “shall not col­lect fees or charges from new grad­u­ates.”

This will in­clude gov­ern­ment-is­sued doc­u­ments such as po­lice clear­ance, Na­tional Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion clear­ance, and the So­cial Se­cu­rity Sys­tem ID, among oth­ers.

As a re­quire­ment, cov­ered ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the mea­sure shall present a copy of their diploma, or cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from the con­cerned in­sti­tu­tion. It was also pro­vided that the ap­pli­ca­tion must be filed within one year af­ter grad­u­a­tion from high school, col­lege or a vo­ca­tional or tech­ni­cal course.

The as­sis­tance, how­ever, will not be granted if the ap­pli­ca­tion is for the is­suance of a pass­port or for the pur­pose of tak­ing a pro­fes­sional li­cen­sure ex­am­i­na­tion as con­ducted by the Pro­fes­sional Reg­u­la­tion Com­mis­sion.

More­over, the bill will es­tab­lish an in­ter-agency mon­i­tor­ing com­mit­tee, chaired by the Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary.

Among its mem­bers are the Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, Depart­ment of La­bor and Em­ploy­ment, Depart­ment of Finance, Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, and the Com­mis­sion of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion.

Ap­pli­cants who will be found guilty of sub­mit­ting false proof of grad­u­a­tion will be sub­ject to Ar­ti­cle 12 of the Re­vised Pe­nal Code, which pe­nal­izes fal­si­fi­ca­tion of doc­u­ments with “pri­sion cor­rec­cional in its medium and max­i­mum pe­ri­ods and a fine of not more than P5,000 pe­sos.”

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