BAGUIO CITY: The government has allocated PHP18.58 million for 4,037 students under the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) in the Cordillera region this summer break.

According to Philippines News Agency, the program is ready for implementation with various local government units. DOLE data show allocations for Abra (931 students), Apayao (360), Baguio (226), Benguet (743), Ifugao (482), Kalinga (603), and Mountain Province (692).

SPES grantees receive the minimum wage set in their area, with DOLE covering 60 percent of the wage and local governments shouldering 40 percent. Beneficiaries are also entitled to one-year accidental insurance coverage with the Government Service Insurance System.

Romelda Escaño, Baguio City Public Employment and Services Office (PESO) manager, noted that the city has been implementing the SPES program for 32 years. Typically, the local government runs two batches, with students' work periods starting earlier depending on the end of their school year. This year, students will work for 20 days, shorter than the usual 30 days, due to classes starting on July 29. Escaño hopes to return to the usual scheme by next year when schedules normalize.

SPES is designed to provide short-term employment to underprivileged students, out-of-school youth, and dependents of displaced or would-be displaced workers, ensuring students can continue their studies.

By admin