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)