Tacurong, DOLE to hire over 200 students in summer

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TACURONG CITY, Sultan  Kudarat, Feb 12 (PIA)   — At least  200   students and out-of school   youths  could be  given  interim  jobs   during  summer  vacation as  the  local  government  unit here,  in partnership with the Department of Labor  and Employment,  implements  the Special  Program for the Employment of Students (SPES).
According to the  Public Employment Service Office,   they will begin  the  registration  of interested  individuals  who would wish  to avail of SPES in March
SPES  is a program of  DOLE   as  mandated  by  Republic Act 9547, which  provides  short-term  employment  to students  and  out-of-school  youths  who  would like to  continue their  studies.
For this  program, DOLE  partners with  local  government  units,  colleges and universities, and  private  employers  for the  implementation of the  program.
Under the  scheme,  the  employer  pays  60 percent of the  salary of the  beneficiary while the remaining  40 percent  will come  from the national  government through DOLE.  
Basic salary   is based on the prevailing wage rate  in the  region set  by the  Regional  Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB).
Per  Wage Order No. RB XII – 17  the minimum wage (non-agriculture sector)  in SOCCSKSARGEN  Region is  P270 per  day.  
In an  earlier   interview,  DOLE  12  Regional Director  Ofelia  Domingo  told  Philippine  Information Agency  12, around  70 percent of DOLE’s partners  in the program are LGUs.
“We are working  on  improving this  situation  to at achieve an ideal  ratio of  50 percent are  from  LGUs  and 50 percent  are  from the  private  sector,”  Director  Domingo said, emphasizing that the  original plan  of the program  is  to encourage  more  participation  from the private  sector.  
On February  6, DOLE  12  gathered    over 200  representatives of  at least 150  companies  from across  the region for a re-orientation  of the DOLE programs and activities as well as  pledging  session  for  the SPES.
On Thursday, February 13,   DOLE  will  gather  local  chief  executives  for  a  forum  on the   SPES program. 
Director  Domingo  added that this  year,  DOLE 12  will begin  using online SPES, where  registration and documentation of applicants and beneficiaries   to payment of   government  share for the   salary  will be  done exclusively  via  the  online  system. 
For this  purpose,  she added, DOLE  12  signed last  week  a memorandum  of agreement  with   M. Lhuiller Financial Services, Inc.  for  the use  of  the latter’s  payment solutions  system  where the  government’s  40 percent  share in the salary of the beneficiaries  will be coursed  through.
To qualify, an applicant   for the  SPES program  should  be  15 to 25  years old,  currently  enrolled  or  a  dropout  who is planning to  return school, whose parents’ combined  income  do  not  exceed the  regional poverty threshold level  for a family with  six members, and have garnered passing grade  in the last  year or term  or in case of  dropout,  in the last  term  he or she attended  school.  
Children of parents  who were  displace  or about to be  displaced from work,  victims of illegal recruitment, victims of accidents, or  persons with  disability may also  apply  for the  program.
SPES  program is  now  a year-round  activity, according to  Director  Domingo.
This  year  DOLE 12  aims  at enrolling  at least  11,771  students and out-of-school  youths  across  SOCCSKSARGEN Region  into the  SPES  this year. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12  with report  from LGU Tacurong)
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