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MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara on Wednesday called for the passage of a bill of rights for fresh graduates to help them find jobs or establish their businesses right after graduation.
”As in all modern democracies, the state has to firm up its social contract with the young,” Angara said in pushing for Senate Bill 59, which makes fresh graduatesponsored members of the Social Security System, the PhilHealth and the Pag-IBIG Fund from graduation up to a period of one year.
Under the proposed measure, fresh graduate can secure from the Department of Labor and Employment a ‘New Graduate’s Incentive Card’ which can be used to avail privileges provided by the bill.
It also seeks to exempt fresh 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. Fresh graduates will also enjoy student discount on transportation fees and exemption from payment of travel tax and airport terminal fees within one year from graduation date.
The Public Employment Service Office in different cities and municipalities will also serve as a one-stop shop for new graduates to secure any or all documents needed 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.
Under the proposed law, fresh graduates who will go into a technology-based enterprise are qualified to get technical training and loans.
“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,” Angara said.
Meanwhile, those who will venture into manufacturing, production or processing will qualify for incentives provided by the Barangay Micro Enterprises Act.
Those who will venture into agriculture-related enterprises, thy can avail 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.
A fresh graduate is also 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 said.
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