(File photo)

MANILA – A party-list lawmaker on Thursday said he has filed a bill seeking to grant poor job applicants a 20 percent discount on government-issued pre-employment documents to encourage and help them secure gainful employment, while boosting the country’s employment at the same time.

House Bill No. 4828, or the Poor Job Applicants Discount Act, was filed by Tutok to Win Rep. Sam Verzosa last Sept. 14 as an anti-poverty program that will enable the poor to fully participate in the country’s growth and development.

“By easing the financial obstacles in processing the employment requirements, the underprivileged will be more motivated and empowered to secure jobs and be an instrument to nation-building and development,” Versoza said.

Under the proposed measure, poor job applicants shall be granted a 20 percent discount in the payment of fees and charges for barangay clearance, police clearance, NBI clearance, medical certificate from any government hospital, birth certificate, marriage certificate, transcript of record from state universities and colleges, and other documentary requirements issued by the government that may be required by employers.

“Malaking tulong sa mga nag-a-apply ng trabaho ang 20 percent discount sa bayarin para sa clearance at certificates. Yung iba nating mga kababayan, hindi pa sila natatanggap sa trabaho pero marami na agad gastos sa mga requirements at baon na agad sa utang. Kaya ito ang naisip natin bilang tulong din sa kanila (The 20 percent discount on the cost of clearances and certificates would be a great help to job seekers. For some of our countrymen, they already incur lots of expenses for requirements and are mired in debt even before they are employed. So, this is our initiative to help them),” Verzosa said.

Under HB 4828, a poor job applicant refers to a person who has no viable means of income or whose income falls below the official poverty threshold, as identified and certified by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) based on the criteria set under the Community-Based Monitoring System.

Members of households of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program shall be automatically eligible to avail of the discount.

The PSA earlier reported that 2.99 million of Filipinos remain unemployed as of June 2022.

It also reported that poverty incidence in 2021 reached 18.1 percent, which means that around 19.99 million Filipinos live below the poverty threshold of PHP12,030 per month for a family of five.

“Edukasyon at trabaho ang solusyon sa pag-ahon mula sa kahirapan. Nakaka-alarma na patuloy ang pagtaas ng bilang ng mga Pilipinong walang trabaho na ngayon ay aabot na sa tatlong milyon. May mga kabataang graduate nga sa kolehiyo pero hirap naman makapagsimula sa paghahanap ng trabaho dahil sa mataas na bayarin sa pagkuha pa lamang ng mga requirements (Education and employment are the solutions in poverty alleviation. The continuing rise in the number of unemployed Filipinos that has now reached three million is alarming. There are youths who may be college graduates, but find it hard to start seeking jobs because of the high cost of securing requirements),” the vice chairperson of the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation said.

He said the goal of his bill is to give underprivileged Filipinos the equal opportunity to seek employment.

“Kaya naman ang Tutok to Win Party-list ay isinusulong na maisabatas ang 20 percent discount sa mga kinakailangang dokumento mula sa gobyerno ng mga mahihirap na aplikante (That is why the Tutok to Win Party-list is pushing for the enactment of the 20 percent discount on the required documents of poor job applicants),” he added. (PNA)