Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairperson Karlo Nograles joined heads of government agencies in signing the Joint Operational Guidelines (JOG) for Republic Act No. 11261 or the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act (FTJAA) at the Kingsford Hotel Grand Ballroom in Parañaque City on Friday, 12 May 2023.
“The ceremonial signing activity is the culmination of the collective and collaborative effort of the member agencies in implementing the benefits provided by the law for fresh graduates, out-of-school-youth, and part-time students towards improving the quality of our national workforce,” said Chairperson Nograles.
Under the FTJAA, which was signed into law on 10 April 2019 and became effective on 23 May 2019, no fees or charges shall be collected by concerned government agencies from any first time jobseekers (FTJ) requesting common pre-employment documents as long they meet the following criteria: (1) a Filipino citizen; (2) a first time jobseeker, regardless of age; (3) is actively looking for employment; and (4) is a resident of the barangay issuing the barangay certification.
Among the documents jobseekers eyeing positions in the government may secure free of charge is the Certificate of Eligibility (COE), a document issued by the CSC that determines whether an applicant is qualified to apply to career service positions.
In compliance with the FTJAA, the CSC issued Resolution No. 2000363 dated 21 February 2020, which provides one (1) original and one (1) authenticated copy of COE for free to first-time job applicants who passed the Career Service Professional and Subprofessional Examination and to qualified individuals with special eligibilities under special laws and CSC issuances.
If the records of the CSC indicate that an individual had applied for a COE in the past but has not yet been employed, and is still eligible for the benefits provided by the FTJAA, they may still be granted the COE without any charge.
Civil service eligibles may secure their COE from the CSC Regional Office where they took the CSE-PPT examination, with the additional copies subject to existing fees of PHP100 per COE and PHP50 per authenticated copy of COE.
Free Documents for First-Time Applicants
In order to qualify for the benefits provided by the FTJAA, which include CSC’s COE, initial jobseekers must fulfill certain requirements. They need to obtain a barangay certification from their place of residence stating that they are classified as an FTJ and execute an Oath of Undertaking confirming their agreement to comply with the terms and conditions of the FTJAA. They should then submit the original barangay certification to the government agency officer and adhere to the agency’s established procedures for obtaining the necessary documents to fulfill the pre-employment requirements free of charge. Finally, after obtaining employment, they are expected to report back to their barangay.
Since the enactment of the FTJAA and its Implementing Rules and Regulations were promulgated in 2019 until 31 December 2022, a total of 630,846 pre-employment documents have been issued to FTJs. The implementation of the Act has resulted in an estimated waiver of Php 83,239,810.00 in government fees.
Led by Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma, Chairperson Nograles participated as a signatory to the JOG, together with Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John E. Uy, National Privacy Commission Chairman John Henry D. Naga, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director-General Danilo P. Cruz, and Public Employment Service Office Managers Association of the Philippines National President Luningning Y. Vergara.
Also present were member-signatories from the Department of Education, Department of Finance, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Health, Commission on Higher Education, National Bureau of Investigation, Maritime Industry Authority, Philippine National Police, and Philippine Statistics Authority.
Following the ceremonial signing, Vice President Sara Z. Duterte, Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development Chairperson Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Senate Majority Floor Leader Senator Joel Villanueva, and House Committee on Labor and Employment Chairperson Congressman Juan Fidel Felipe Nograles offered their congratulations for the success of the initiative.