House approves bill waiving gov’t fees for fresh graduates
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.”