One thousand two hundred seventy-four (1,274) grantees of the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) from all over Sultan Kudarat (SK) Province gathered for the annual Labor Day celebration on May 1, 2013 at the City Gymnasium, Tacurong City.

SPES delegations from 12 LGUs, schools, and agencies showcased their talent and teamwork through the Yelling Contest and Pop Dance Competition. LGU-Tacurong delegation won the gold in the Yelling Contest while SK Provincial Capitol delegation took home the gold for the pop dance competition.

SPES LGU-Tacurong during their winning performance for the Yelling Contest.

SK Provincial Capitol winning pop dance group

According to DOLE-SK headed by Provincial Director Arlene Bisnon, this gathering aims to facilitate healthy interaction among SPES grantees and boost each delegation’ team spirit. DOLE XII Regional Director Ofelia Domingo reminded the SPES grantees to maximize their summer jobs by learning new skills and important work ethics.

This annual gathering, which has been conducted for at least 5 years now, is the only SPES provincial gathering in Region XII. This year’s celebration is sponsored by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-SK in partnership with LGU-Tacurong. “The city government is very willing to work with DOLE in terms of empowering constituents with employment and livelihood opportunities,” said Tacurong City Mayor Lina O. Montilla.

The following are the participating LGUs, schools, and agencies with their corresponding number of SPES grantees: LGU-President Quirino (90); LGU-Lambayong (41); LGU-Tacurong (299); LGU-Isulan (200); SK Provincial Capitol (261); Quezon Colleges of Southern Philippines (17); Archdiocesan Notre Dame Schools of Cotabato (210); Notre Dame of Tacurong College (56); Southern Mindanao Institute of Technology (36); Tacurong Fit Mart (25); Kimsan Inc. (25); and Kenram Industrial Development Inc. (14). The delegations were accompanied by their respective Public Employment Service Office managers.

DOLE-SK and LGU-Tacurong with the Philippine Red Cross-SK also maximized the gathering by conducting a blood-letting activity. Twenty-six bags of blood were generated through the said activity.

DOLE’s SPES provides underprivileged youth/students with short-term employment to augment financial needs and to provide experience that will be useful as they enter the workforce.

A SPES grantee donates blood on Labor Day

Jezereel Louise Billano