MANILA (Mabuhay) – As the new college graduates join the country’s labor force, Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara on Wednesday pushed for the passage of a Bill of Rights for fresh graduates to help them find jobs or establish their own businesses right after graduation.
Angara said Senate Bill 59 is a compilation of state support for fresh graduates for a period of one year after graduation as they face a difficult transition into the labor force.
”As in all modern democracies, the state has to firm up its social contract with the young,” Angara said.
The measure suggests that fresh graduates should be made sponsored members of the Social Security System, the PhilHealth and the Pag-IBIG Fund from graduation up to a period of one year.
These can be enjoyed after graduates shall have secured from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) a “New Graduate’s Incentive Card” that will certify that he or she can avail of the privileges being sought by the proposed law.
Angara said the card shall be the primary document that fresh graduates will use in obtaining government support and incentives.
“By investing in our new graduates, we are effectively investing in their future and ultimately, in our country’s national development and progress,” the chairman of the Senate committee on ways and means stressed.
To lessen the job hunting costs, Angara’s bill seeks to exempt graduates from fees paid for getting birth certificates, securing a tax identification number and getting various clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation down to the barangay level.
Likewise, the Public Employment Service Office in different cities and municipalities shall serve as a one-stop shop for new graduates to secure any or all documents necessary for employment application.
“The exemption from the payment of fees and charges shall likewise apply to fresh graduates who will venture into businesses and will have to secure business and other permits from the Department of Trade, the Securities and Exchange Commission or the city and municipal permits and licensing offices,” Angara said.
Among the many incentives fresh graduates would also enjoy include the student discount on transportation fees, exemption from payment of travel tax and airport terminal fees within one year from graduation date.
Angara said under the bill, graduates who will go into a technology-based enterprise are qualified to get technical training and loans for the enterprise.
”The enterprises must fall under the pilot categories and should fall under the micro, small, and medium enterprises. A viable technical and feasibility study shall merit an interest free loan for the venture,” he said.
On the other hand, those who will venture into manufacturing, production or processing shall qualify to the incentives provided by the Barangay Micro Enterprises Act.
For graduates who will venture into agriculture-related enterprises, a viable feasibility study can entitle them to a loan of up to P100,000 from the Land Bank or the Development Bank of the Philippines, provided the loan is backed by a chattel mortgage.
Once employed, a fresh graduate is qualified to apply for government low-cost housing programs, mostly under the National Housing Authority.
“By making it easier for graduates to know what’s out there, we hope to make it easier for them to dream, explore and discover whatever it is that will make them achieve success and fulfillment in their careers,” Angara pointed out. (MNS)