DOLE allocates P18.5-M for summer break youth work program


BAGUIO CITY – The government has allocated PHP18.58 million for 4,037 students under the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) in the Cordillera region this summer break.
“We are ready to implement the program with the different local government units,” Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) – Cordillera Assistant Director Emerito Narag said during a press conference for the Kalayaan (Independence Day) Job Fair on Thursday.
DOLE data show that Abra has an allocation of 931 students; Apayao, 360; Baguio, 226; Benguet, 743; Ifugao, 482; Kalinga, 603; and Mountain Province, 692.
SPES grantees receive the minimum wage set in a particular area, with DOLE paying 60 percent of the wage and the local government shouldering the 40 percent.
Aside from the wage, the beneficiaries are also entitled to accidental insurance coverage with the Government Service Insurance System for one year.
Romelda Escaño, Baguio City Public Employment and Services Office (PESO) manager, said the city has been implementing the SPES program in the past 32 years.
She said the local government usually has two batches, with students’ work periods starting earlier than the others, depending on the end of their school year.
She said students would work for 20 days this school break, shorter than the 30 days in the past, because classes start on July 29.
“We hope to return to the usual scheme by next year when schedules normalize,” she said.
SPES is an employment bridging program that aims to provide short-term employment to underprivileged students, out-of-school youth, and dependents of displaced or would-be displaced workers to ensure that the students would be able to pursue their studies. **Liza Agoot


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