Sunday, March 24, 2019

More than 24,000 pledges eyed to support indigent students

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Some 24,140 pledges to support working-youths are set for this year’s Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) in Central Luzon, the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) said Friday.

This figure was based on the SPES pledges submitted by the different Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) operating all over the region.

Dole Regional Director Ana Dione reported to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that the SPES registration and screening process had already kicked-off in preparation of its implementation this April.

“As early as January, the PESOs all over the region have started screening students who signified their intent to participate in this year’s SPES. Under the guidelines, PESOs are responsible in the screening, matching, and selection process in close coordination with their respective LGUs and participating firms from the private sector,” Dione explained.

Technical Support and Services Division for Employment and Welfare head Alejandro Inza Cruz said that participating students/OSYs will be working for 20-28 working days.

Inza Cruz also noted that the SPES-beneficiaries will be receiving salaries based on the prevailing minimum and applicable LGU wage-rates in the region.

"For this year’s SPES implementation, the Dole regional office has allocated P85,977,337.01, which represents government’s share for the student’s salary. A 60 percent share will be shouldered by participating private companies and National Government Agencies (NGAs) while participating LGUs’ approved-share will be based on their corresponding classification,” Inza Cruz said.

For its part, the DOLE assured the prompt processing of its share for the salaries of SPES-beneficiaries in time for the school season.

To further support the SPES implementation, several LGUs have included the SPES under its Bottoms-up-Budgeting (BUB) initiatives which will cover 318 SPES pledges.

Around 397 employers comprising 248 private firms, 134 LGUs, 2 national government agencies, and 13 schools from different parts of the region will be participating in this year’s SPES.

Dione thanked and commended the DOLE’s program partners and beneficiaries for their continued support and cooperation for the regional SPES implementation.

“Through the years, the LGUs, through their PESOs, as well as our partners from the private sector have been committed in ensuring that our poor but deserving students our given the opportunity to pursue their education at the same time experience the real world of work through the SPES. We hope that we continue to carry the tradition of engaging and empowering our working youths to be at their best and become successful individuals” Dione said.

“To our SPES-beneficiaries, take advantage of our youth employment program. Give your 100% while gaining a lot of learning experience because employers, through your stint as an SPES youth worker, may see your potential and could even consider hiring you in the future. Seize the opportunity as an SPES beneficiary,” she added.

Now on its 25th year, the SPES continues to assist poor but deserving students pursue their education by engaging them at the workplace and earn during their vacation.

Aside from earning income for their education, SPES-beneficiaries will get the opportunity to gain additional knowledge and life skills towards productive work. (Jerry Borja/Dole-3 LCO)

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