This summer, 424 students and out-of-school youths will work for the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Tacurong City under the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES).

The SPES beneficiaries attended the orientation conducted by the LGU on April 20, 2015 at the City Cultural and Sports Center. Mayor Lina Montilla and other city officials welcomed the newly-hired grantees during the event.

Mandated by Republic Act No. 9547, SPES aims to provide poor but deserving high school, vocational or college students the opportunity to be employed and compensated. SPES is one of the flagship programs of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in partnership with LGUs and private employers nationwide.

SPES follows the 60-40 salary scheme. On the part of the city government acting as the employer, it only needs to pay the grantees sixty percent of the grantees’ salaries while the DOLE pays the remaining 40 percent.

All SPES beneficiaries will work for a period of twenty days and will receive above minimum wage compensation. Each of the 224 old SPES grantees is set to receive P7, 000.00 salaries while the 200 newly-hired ones will each receive P6, 000.00.

The increase in the SPES budget this year also paved way for higher salaries compared to the meager P4, 000.00 each grantee received last year.

The number of SPES beneficiaries this year increased by more than a hundred as the LGU received additional budget of P900 thousand out of the Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) funds intended for the summer employment program this year.

Bishop David Salazar, representing the religious organizations in the Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan or UBAS, was also present during the orientation to inform the grantees on the role of the church in monitoring the implementation of BUB-funded projects.

Aside from the BUB fund, LGU Tacurong earmarked P1 Million from its regular fund for the summer job program.

This 2015, DOLE Regional Office XII is the first in the country to implement the Online SPES. Under the Online SPES, all steps in the SPES process (from pledging to payment of their salaries) go online using the SPES portal created by DOLE XII.

DOLE XII Regional Director Ofelia Domingo is happy to note that other DOLE regional offices are keen of adopting the DOLE XII Online SPES model. (LGU Tacurong City Information)