DOLE Central Luzon kicks off SPES Program; forges pact with NIA
Cabanatuan City – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Offcie No. 3 today officially kicked off its number one interventional employment program for poor but deserving students of Central Luzon.
“Throughout the years, the Special Program for the Employment of Students or simply put the “SPES” in region 3 has benefited countless of youth beneficiaries from the informal sector who wish to pursue and finish their studies and eventually land sustainable jobs” says DOLE Regional Director Raymundo G. Agravante.
“This year, we have allotted some 27.9 Million that will benefit 8,000 students all over the region who wish to engage in the year round SPES” he added.
In Nueva Ecija, Agravante led the lauching of the SPES program in the province, which will benefit one thousand three hundred sixty two (1,362) working youths from the province. A budget of 3.7 Million, representing the DOLE’s forty (40) percent share of the salaries of the students was allotted for the province.
Michael Calma, president of the PESO Managers of Nueva Ecija and the rest of the PESO Managers of the province were in full force to witness the said launching.
Ronel Escalante, a son of an electrician and housewife who is a freshman taking up a course on information technology at Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST) expressed his enthusiam in taking up his first summer job.
“Malaking tulong po ang SPES program ng DOLE para sa akin at sa aking pamilya. Salamat po sa DOLE sa pagkakataong ito” he said.
Meanwhile at NIA, Agravante, along with the heads of the National Irrigration Administration-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems (NIA-UPRIIS), led the forging and launching of the ASH-JBS Program held at the Benigno S. Aquino Sr. Farmer’s Training Center, NIA-UPRIIS Compound, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.
The ASH-JBS, which stands for “Adhering to Student’ Needs Job Beating Summer Program” which was dove-tailed from the SPES Program is a joint-initiative of the DOLE and NIA which aims to help poor but deserving student children of farmers in the province of Nueva Ecija.
This year, twelve (12) fortunate youths were personally chosen by the NIA to work for their agency in the next twety (20) days to experience working for the government.
As agreed in the said MOA and also based on the implementing rules and guidelines of the SPES Program, the sixty (60) percent salaries of the students will be shouldered by the NIA, while the remaining forty (40) percent will be shouldered by the DOLE. The said salary is in accordance to the existing minimum wage provided by law.
Present during the MOA signing are Director Agravante; Engr. Pedro S. Fernando, head of the DOLE Nueva Ecija Field Office; Nely P. Punzalan, head of the DOLE RO3 Technical Support and Services for employment and Welfare; Engr. Edith Ragodon, NIA; and other key officials from NIA-UPRIIS.
Agravante, in his keynote message to the students beneficiaries, said that the youth should bear in mind, set, and show what they can offer for the betterment of the Philippines as stated by our national hero Jose Rizal when he said that “Ang Kabataan ang Pag-asa ng Bayan.”
“To our SPES Babies as the DOLE fondly calls its beneficiaries who’ve finished their studies through the help of the program, may this be a way of enjoying a different summer as you gain work experience, develop work ethics, and of course have the reward of earning which you can use when you go back to school” Agravante shared. (Jerry Borja)