New law gives fresh grads ‘work experience’


A bill that legislates work experience is now law.

Public Law 20-13, which Sen. Justo Quitugua (Ind-Saipan) authored and Gov. Ralph DLG Torres enacted in late September, would allow fresh graduates to claim up to four years of job experience—even if they don’t really have that experience—if they apply for a government job.

Under the newly enacted Senate Bill 20-09, fresh graduates with an associate degree can claim having two years of experience, while fresh graduates with a bachelor’s degree can claim four years of experience—that is, if they apply for a government position related to their field of study.

“Gov. Torres was very pleased to sign SB 20-09, SD1 into law and commends Sen. Quitugua and the House and Senate for passing the legislation for the benefit of the Commonwealth’s recent college graduates, who are looking to enter public service,” said press secretary Kevin Bautista in a statement.

He pointed out that students from the CNMI have been “venturing away from home” due to the lack of job opportunities. A statute in the Civil Service Act states that only individuals with past experience may be hired in government offices, regardless of their educational attainment.

“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 in a previous statement.

According to Bautista, the Torres administration shares the same view—that P.L. 20-13 would provide more opportunities for college students to return to the CNMI.

“The government must continue to be a partner in setting up our college graduates for success. The administration has made significant strides in attracting more recent graduates to come back home, and we hope to extend this trend to all our government agencies,” said Bautista.

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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