Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) in Metro Manila

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An April 1, 2011 press release prepared by the Department of Labor and Employment
The summer season of the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) is now in full swing in the National Capital Region (NCR), with 10,628 poor but deserving students getting short-term but gainful employment.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz announced this yesterday after receiving the report of DOLE National Capital Region (NCR) regional director Raymundo Agravante, who said that the 17 local government units comprising the metropolis cities and municipalities have allotted some 10,628 slots to poor but deserving students under the SPES, DOLE’s work appreciation and bridging program established under the R.A. 9547.
DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) administers the SPES.
The 10,628 SPES beneficiaries in Metro Manila will be engaged, on the average, for 20 to 52 days of various summer work appropriate to their skills beginning April until May in private sector companies and government agencies, which have pledged to employ the students under the program.
The government agencies that have expressed to sponsor the students to work as tax mappers, office workers, barangay survey personnel, encoders, and school assistants include the Department of Education and Department of Science and Technology, apart from DOLE.
On the other hand, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Sevanti Foods,Inc., Shell South Luzon Tollway, Northpark Noodles, The Body Shop, and M&H Food Corporation will hire students as food service crew, customer touch points, office works, gasoline attendants, cashiers, sales ladies, promotion merchandizers, and other positions.
According to BLE Director Maria Criselda R. Sy, 84,786 poor but deserving students nationwide benefitted from the SPES in 2010 most of whom were provided with “bridging employment assistance” during their summer breaks.
Baldoz said that the SPES, which is already a year-round activity is a “bridge” towards formal employment, adding that more than 85,000 poor students are expected to benefit from SPES this year.
“It teaches students the value of skills towards productive work,” she said, as she encouraged more private sector companies, as well as government agencies, to sponsor students under SPES program and share in the effort to provide “well-deserving, but unfortunately poor in-school youth who hail from low income families the chance to make education, as well as skills training, their own “great equalizer” in life.”
Any productive jobs suited to talented and skilled youth under conditions specified by law is considered, like assisting office staff, computer data encoding, tree planting, mall operation, an fastfood services, among other work,” the labor and employment chief said as she emphasized that under the SPES law, both the government and participating private sector share in ensuring the salary of a student-beneficiary, which should not be lower than the minimum wage set by law.
Sixty percent of the student’s salary or wage shall be paid by the employer in cash, while the remaining forty percent of the applicable minimum wage law or hiring rate shall be paid by DOLE.
Baldoz noted that the SPES, fits the objective of President Benigno S. Aquino III, in his 22-point employment agenda, to make the Filipino human resource competitive while promoting social justice.
The SPES was begun by the late President Corazon C. Aquino 19 years ago after the Congress enacted Republic Act 7323 on March 30, 1992. Subsequently, RA 9547, enacted in 2009, expanded the coverage of the program by introducing amendments to the original SPES law.
Any students may apply for employment under the SPES provided he or she meets the required qualifications as follows: He or she must be 18 years old of age but not more than 25 years old; the combined net income after tax of his or her parents, including his or her income if any, does not exceed the latest annual poverty threshold level for a family of six (6) as determined and provided by the National Economic and Development Authority; and he or she must at least have gotten an average passing grade during the last school term attended.