By: Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has benefited 2,467 recipients in Negros Occidental.
Mary Agnes Capigon, head of Dole-Negros Occidental, said the number of recipients this year is based on the approved pledges and budget of the agency totaling P22 million.
SPES is mandated under Republic Act 9547 or “an act to help poor but deserving students pursue their education by encouraging their employment during summer and Christmas vacations through incentives granted to employers, allowing them to pay only 60 percent of their salaries or wages, and 40 percent through education vouchers to be paid by the government.”
The program covers students and drop-outs with intention to continue schooling, age 15 to 25 years old, and who are enrolled during the present school year immediately preceding the summer vacation.
Almost P8.4 million was allocated for the implementation of the program in the province this year.
It is on top of almost P14 million alloted by 34 participating public and private employers including schools, local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), and private establishments like fast food chains, among others, Capigon said.
Capigon said the program gives the students a chance to use their semestral or summer break to be productive, as they will have income from their real work experiences, which is significant for their personal development.
Those interested are required to submit birth certificate, school card, and parents’ income tax return (ITR) of not more than P108,000 annually, to their respective Public Employment Service Offices.