DAVAO ORIENTAL – Three hundred forty-five poor but deserving students were among the first batch employed under the Special Program for the Employment of Student (SPES).
Realized through the joint efforts of the Department of Labor and Employment and the Provincial Government, the annual program aims to help underprivileged but deserving students to earn extra cash to support their education.
In addition to the 345 students, the said program targets to cater 200 more students for the second batch of the program.
Provincial Manager of Public Employment Services Office (PESO), Jay Dayanghirang, said that among the qualifications considered in hiring students is their family’s economic status. “Most of the beneficiaries’ parents are farmers or self-employed whose annual net income do not exceed P136,000,” says Dayanghirang.
Niccolo Andrie Flores, an incoming grade 12 student and one of those in the first batch of SPES beneficiaries, said that the program is of great help since he only depends on his 80-year old grandmother to finance his studies.
Each SPES beneficiary will earn P6, 800 in just a span of twenty days of working in various offices of the Provincial Government. “I am very thankful that more employment slots have been opened this year as it an opportunity for many students like me to earn,” he said.
Michelle Ann Corpuz, also one of the summer jobbers, said that it will augment her parents’ expenses for her study. She added that aside from financial assistance in buying her uniform and books, “this serves as training for us, especially on how to deal with the professionals. This also enlightens us the value of work in order to earn money. I think it gears us for the future.”
Aside from the economic status of the beneficiaries’ families, Dayanghirang added that another qualification for the students’ hiring is to gauge their capabilities in handling their job. “Those who qualified passed a written examination and we also see to it that they have no failing grades on their previous school year,” she explained. Also, the government is also prioritizing those students who have not yet reached by government assistance.
Among the activities conducted for the SPES beneficiaries are an environmental awareness symposium and a tree planting activity held on April 10 in Barangay Mayo, City of Mati, which has raised environmental consciousness among the student beneficiaries.
“The symposium aims to let the beneficiaries understand the importance of planting trees in the surrounding, and to explain to them the reality of climate change and ecological waste management”, she explained.
The recipients here have acknowledged the significance of raising their environmental awareness. Gracel Damalerio, one of the SPES beneficiaties, said that aside from gaining experience and earning money for the coming enrollment, the program has also provided them with “the awareness that is vital to the youth especially that we are the hope of our country.”
Another activity in line with the environmental awareness program is the clean-up drive at the Barangay Central held on Tuesday, April 11. The activity was designed to educate the importance of proper waste segregation as it is seen as one of the environmental problems of the society, Dayanghirang said.
After the slated sports activity on April 17-18, the program recipients will be deployed to their respective office of assignment. By Riza M. Golez/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan