Firms told: Accept certified true copies of pre-employment docs
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - February 13, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Private establishments are called on to only require certified true copies of the pre-employment documents for first-time jobseekers, instead of requiring them to submit the original copies during the application process.

A labor advisory on this was issued by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Tuesday, February 11.

Labor Advisory No. 07 urges companies to consider accepting certified true copies of pre-employment requirements from first-time jobseekers.

The advisory also reiterates the limitations of Republic Act (RA) No. 11261 or The First-Time Jobseekers Act, which waives the fees for government-issued documents and clearances for first-time jobseekers.

Under RA 11261, all government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations, local government units and government hospitals, will not collect fees or charges from a first-time jobseeker, in connection with their application for and granting of licenses, proofs of identification, clearances, certificates or other documents usually required in the course of employment locally or abroad.

However, first-time jobseekers may avail themselves of the benefit only once and for only one copy of every document or transaction.

The first-time jobseeker may be a graduate of an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, a completer of a technical-vocational course, or a high school graduate who has completed the K-12 program.

Also eligible are out-of-school youth, those not employed or engaged in education or training, students taking a leave of absence, or any person intending to work while enrolled in any school, college, university or learning institution.

To avail of the benefits, the jobseeker should be a Filipino citizen who is actively seeking employment, locally or abroad, for the first time, as certified by the barangay of which he or she is a resident.

The jobseeker shall secure and present the barangay certification stating that he or she is a first-time jobseeker and a resident of the barangay for at least six months.

The validity of availment of the benefits shall be one year from the issuance of the barangay certificate.

DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome Siaton said the limitation may pose some challenges to first-time job applicants since most of the establishments require submission of original copy of the pre-employment requirements even during the application process.

“Taking into account all these limitations, we now seek understanding from our partner-establishments and enjoin them to only require and accept certified true copies of needed documents from these first time applicants,” said Siaton in a statement.

Covered government transactions include barangay certification and clearance for first-time jobseekers; police clearance; National Bureau of Investigation clearance; medical certificate from public hospitals, except for laboratory tests and other medical procedures that are required in the grant of a medical certificate.

Others are birth and marriage certificate; transcript of academic records, certificate of graduation/completion, and/or diploma issued by state and local universities and colleges; and Taxpayer’s Identification Number.  JMD (FREEMAN)

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