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Arroyos propose program to help former inmates get employment.

Manila, Philippines -- Noting that convicts have slimmer chances of being employed after being freed, former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has sought the creation of a Department of Justice body to help former prisoners get jobs.

Together with son, Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Macapagal-Arroyo, the former chief executive filed House Bill 3268 which would institute a Former Prisoner's Employment Program.

The elder Arroyo said the bill will address the reluctance of employers to hire workers with prison record.

Now under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Arroyo said the lack of employment opportunities made ex-convicts feel they were unwanted in the society and made it more difficult for them to lead a new life.

HB 3268 seeks to create a Committee on Employment Opportunities for Former Prisoners (CEOFP) under the Department of Justice which is tasked to draft the implementing rules and regulations for the training and employment of former prisoners.

The bill also seeks to give private establishments incentives to hire former inmates through an additional deduction from gross income equivalent to fifteen percent of the total amount paid as salaries and wages to former prisoners.

"We are optimistic that through this bill, there is a practical option to make life easier and productive for former prisoners by making employment opportunities available and accessible so that they may enjoy their gained freedom and life after incarceration meaningful," said Arroyo.

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

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Feb 19, 2014
Words:280
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