Solons seek employment program for ex-inmates
RECOGNIZING the difficulty former inmates experience in getting a job, two lawmakers have proposed to institute a former prisoner’s employment program.
Reps. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) and his mother Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga) filed House Bill 6716 which seeks to make employment opportunities available and accessible to former prisoners.
“Former prisoners, once they are out and back in mainstream society, are considered at a crossroad in life,” the younger Arroyo said.
He said that these former inmates are raring to be reunited with their loved ones but more importantly, to find gainful work so they can provide for their families.
“Sad to say, statistics reveal that former prisoners have a slimmer chance of being employed after their release,” Arroyo said.
He added that employers, most if not all, are reluctant to hire former prisoners because of their criminal past.
“This makes it extra difficult for former prisoners to reform and reintegrate into society,” Arroyo said.
Under the bill, Arroyo proposed the creation of the Committee on Employment Opportunities for Former Prisoners under the Department of Justice.
“The committee shall be responsible for drafting the implementing rules and regulations for the training and employment of former prisoners,” Arroyo said.
The measure also provides incentives to private establishments hiring inmates such as an additional deduction from gross income tax.
“The additional deduction shall be equivalent to 15% of total amount paid as salaries and wages to former prisoners,” Arroyo said.
Arroyo said it is unfair once they are out of prison if former prisoners are denied of a decent source of livelihood brought about by the stigma of their delinquent past.