BAGUIO CITY – The Local Government of Baguio is increasing its quota for the annual Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) from the usual 400 to 450 slots this year.
Supervising Administrative Officer Gloria Evangelista of the City Mayor’s Office presented to the members of the local legislative body the budget for the counterpart 60 percent of the local government for the wages of the students employed under the SPES is included in the approved 2019 executive budget of the city.
The SPES is jointly implemented by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in coordination with concerned government agencies, local governments and the private sector interested to employ poor but deserving students for short-term jobs to support their studies.
Initially, the local government had been employing some 300 students under the program before it was increased to 350 slots, 400 slots and eventually 450 slots this year to accommodate the increasing number of students looking for temporary jobs to help themselves earn for their tuition and other school fees.
Evangelista said the city will announce the schedule of activities for the application, screening and selection of the qualified applicants for these summer jobs.
Under the said program, the local government, concerned government agencies and the private sector shoulder 60 percent of the prescribed daily wages of the working students while the labor department pays the remaining 40 percent which will be issued in favour of the school where the students are enrolled in the form of education vouchers to cover portions of their tuition and other school fees.
The Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) is mandated under Republic Act No. 7323 otherwise known as “An Act To Help Poor But Deserving Students Pursue Their Education By Encouraging Their Employment During Summer and/or Christmas Vacations, Through Incentives Granted to Employers, Allowing Them To Pay Only Sixty Per Centum of Their Salaries or Wages and The Forty Per Centum Through Education Vouchers To Be Paid By The Government, Prohibiting and Penalizing The Filing of Fraudulent and Fictitious Claims, and For Other Purposes.”
The SPES is a component of the KABATAAN 2000 program that aims to help poor but deserving students pursue college education by providing income or augment their income by encouraging their employment during summer and Christmas vacations. Employers are encouraged to hire the youth by giving incentive, such as paying only 60 percent of the prevailing minimum wage while DOLE pays the balance of 40 percent, through education vouchers.
The local government will post the announcement on the schedule of activities for the implementation of the program in conspicuous places within city hall and other public services for the information and guidance of students interested to apply for temporary jobs during their summer vacation to support their studies.
By Dexter A. See