House OKs Senate bill that provides work experience to fresh graduates

Bill heads to governor for signing

The House of Representatives unanimously passed last week a Senate bill that would provide experience to graduates striving for a civil service position.

Senate Bill 20-09 SD1 gives associate degree holders and bachelor’s degree holders two and four years work experience, respectively, just by graduating.

The bill passed the House unanimously with no discussions.

Sen. Just Quitugua (Ind-Saipan) said the legislation “will provide more opportunities to our college graduates who are seeking employment [for] civil service positions.”

According to Quitugua, some college graduates fail to meet employment requirements “due to lack of work experience.” The civil service policy is a “hindrance to encouraging…college students to return to the CNMI” for jobs.

SB 20-09 SD1 states that certain statutes of the Civil Service Act discourage fresh graduates with a degree or certification in the CNMI to contribute their skills and knowledge in the CNMI.

Public Law 15-119 requires civil service employees to have prior experience if the person possesses a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree.

“Such policy is in contradiction to the CNMI Scholarship and municipal financial assistance policies where students that are granted financial assistance while in college must return and work in the CNMI,” said Quitugua. “The CNMI government spends millions of dollars annually sending our students to college.”

According to Quitugua, the intent of the bill is to encourage the local workforce for having attained a degree by crediting degree holders with the necessary work experience to allow them to meet the civil service requirement.

The bill now heads to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres for signing.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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