Press Release
February 1, 2021

De Lima urges swift Senate action on bill reducing expenses of indigent job seekers

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has urged her colleagues to help push for the swift passage of her bill which seeks to reduce the expenses of poor Filipinos seeking for a job, especially now that many are experiencing the financial challenges brought about by the pandemic.

De Lima said she hopes the legislative chamber will give priority to her Senate Bill (SB) No. 1435 seeking to provide discounts for indigent job applicants in the payment of fees and charges for certain certificates and clearances issued by government agencies for employment application.

"Dagdag pabigat sa marami nating maralitang kababayan ang kaliwa't kanang bayarin para sa mga requirements para sila ay makapaghanapbuhay, at matugunan ang kanilang pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan," she said.

"By reducing some of their financial burdens in the process of finding jobs, indigent job applicants are afforded modest support and chances to find work," she added.

According to the Department of Labor and Employment, more than 420,000 Filipinos lost their jobs in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic affected the economy and forced businesses to close.

In filing the measure last year, De Lima underscored the role of the government to assist the poor, through enactment of measures that will facilitate easy access to decent jobs that both secure income and the necessary entitlements for them.

Under SB No. 1435, or the "Indigent Job Applicants Discount Act," indigent job applicants, whether locally or abroad, shall be granted a 20% discount in the payment of fees and charges for the following clearances and certificates requisite for pre-employment application.

These include, among others, clearance from the Philippine National Police, certificate of marriage from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Certificate of live birth from the PSA and Transcript of Records (TOR) from the State Universities and Colleges of the applicant.

By providing indigent job seekers with a 20% discount in the payment of fees and charges for certain clearances and certificates issued by some government agencies which are required for pre-employment application, De Lima said they will be encouraged to secure gainful employment.

"Unemployment worsens the government's effort to eradicate poverty. It fiscally burdens both the unemployed and the country by depriving the poor its means to support its household's basic needs and demands the government to deal with the loss of income, decreased production and additional spending for social welfare support," she said.

"Napakahalaga para sa bawat indibidwal at pamilya na magkaroon ng tiyak na trabaho at sapat na sweldo, lalo na sa panahon ng mga kalamidad o delubyo. Sa isang taon nang krisis na dulot ng COVID-19, bukod sa pagkakasakit, labis na nangangamba ang mahihirap nating kababayan sa kawalan ng kita at pagkagutom," she added.

Previously, De Lima also filed several bills seeking to provide subsidies or other discounts for the vulnerable members of the society such as SB No. 1973 mandating establishments, drug stores and merchants to expand discounts for senior citizens.

She also filed SB No. 1979 providing subsidies and other incentives for indigent Public Utility Drivers in the payment of certain fees and charges for certain certificates required by the Land Transportation Office, to name a few.

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