The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance providing financial assistance to qualified indigent first time takers of government licensure or eligibility examinations and providing funds for the said purpose.
Under the proposed ordinance, providing financial assistance to qualified indigent first time takers of government examination is similar to helping the recipients in getting higher chances of being gainfully employed. It is a measure to address the gap between completing education and training with that of employment opportunities.
Further, it stated that being gainfully employed after passing the exams is a big boost to the local economy while addressing the problem on unemployment or underemployment.
The ordinance shall apply to qualified indigent first time takers of government licensure exams who are residents of the city and that every recipient shall only be qualified once.
Among the licensure examinations where the local government is allowed to extend financial assistance to first time takers include the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) licensure examinations, bar examination, civil service eligibility examination and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) assessment for national certifications.
Recipients of the said assistance must be bonafide residents of the city; must be indigent or belong to indigent families and must be first time government licensure examination taker.
The ordinance mandates the recipients to submit certificate of residency and low income from the barangay, certificate of indigency from the City Social Welfare and Development Office, and certificate from the office administering the examination that she or he is applying for exams aside from the fact that she or he is a first time taker.
The ordinance stipulated that the availment of the assistance must be once, the beneficiary must not be enjoying similar assistance from other offices, must have the intention to look for a job and already engaged at work and due to the limited budget that prioritization must be applied.
The screening committee shall be composed of the City Mayor as Chairperson, the City Social Welfare and Development Officer as Vice Chairperson. The committee members are a representative from the PRC Baguio field office, representative from the Civil Service Commission Baguio field office, representative from TESDA Baguio field office, Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Social Services, Sangguniang Kabataan Federation (SKF) president and two representatives from accredited civil society organizations whose advocacy is related to the purpose of the measure.
The ordinance provides for the allocation of PhP2 million annually from the city’s general fund for the said program subject to government accounting and auditing rules and regulations. By Dexter A. See