GMA son wants job program for ex-convicts

GMA son wants job program for ex-convicts
By Dennis Carcamo Updated Wednesday February 19, 2014 – 1:50pm

MANILA, Philippines – A son of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has filed a bill in Congress seeking a government program to enable ex-convicts to get a job once they are released from prison.

Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Arroyo said the rationale behind House Bill 3268, which seeks to create a Former Prisoners’ Employment Program, is that a slim possibility for former detainees or inmates to get work after serving their jail terms.

He said this is because employers are reluctant to hire former prisoners with criminal records.

“Statistics reveal, sad to say, that former prisoners have a slimmer chance to being employed after serving their prison terms,” said Arroyo of the bill, which is co-authored by his mother who has been in hospital arrest at the Veteran’s Medical Memorial Center in Quezon City.

Congresswoman Arroyo is facing electoral sabotage before the Pasay City court.

The proposed measure seeks to create a Committee on Employment Opportunities for Former Prisoners under the Department of Justice, which will be tasked to draft the implementing rules and regulations for the training and employment of former prisoners.

It also seeks to provide incentives to private establishment hiring inmates through an additional deduction from gross income, equivalent to 15 percent of total amount paid as salaries and wages to former prisoners.

The CEOFP shall be led by a Chairman and assisted by a Vice Chairman, who shall both be appointed by the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice. The Committee shall have a Technical Service Arm to assist it to carry out its duties and functions.

“Given that life inside prison is more than enough punishment for their trespasses against society, it is unfair, once they are out of prison, if they are unjustly denied of a decent source of livelihood brought about by the stigma of their delinquent past,” the younger Arroyo said.

The bill also seeks to allocate an initial amount of P100 million for the first year of its implementation.

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