THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has allotted P709 million for its youth employment program this year.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd on Sunday said some 164,000 out-of-school youth and poor students, 15 to 30 years old, will benefit from the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES).
Also qualified under the program, Bello added, are displaced or would-be displaced workers as a result of business closures, work stoppages or natural calamities
“The budget is intended for the salary of the SPES beneficiaries to help support their studies and other needs” he said.
SPES is one of the Labor department’s youth employment-bridging programs that aims to provide beneficiaries with short-term job opportunities during summer and/or Christmas vacation or any time of year to help them continue their education in any secondary, tertiary or technical-vocational institution.
Beneficiaries may be employed from 20 to 78 days and may be assigned as service crew, student assistant, clerk, office/administrative assistant, support staff, bookkeeper or plant nursery helper/assistant.
Under Department Order 175 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10917, applicants must be 15 to 30 years old at the time of application.
Services rendered during the period of employment relevant and related to the course of the beneficiary may have equivalent academic and practicum or on-the-job training credits as may be determined by appropriate government agencies.
The period of employment of SPES beneficiaries who are eventually hired as employees by the same employer shall form part of their probationary period.
Sixty percent of the salary of student beneficiaries will be paid by employers (private or public) in cash while the remaining 40 percent by the government to be paid also in cash.
Low-income local government units (LGUs), on the other hand, may submit a letter to the DoLE regional director requesting the department to shoulder a higher percentage share in the salary of SPES beneficiaries based on the following schemes: up to 75 percent share for 6th class municipality; up to 60 percent for 5th class municipality; and up to 50 percent for 4th class municipality or 6th class province.
Based on a Bureau of Local Employment report, the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) was allotted the biggest budget amounting to P106,192,000 intended for 16,860 beneficiaries.
In Luzon, Cordillera Administrative Region was allotted P29,774,000 for 8,050 beneficiaries; Ilocos Region (Region 1), P15,215,000 for 4,180 beneficiaries; Cagayan Valley Region (Region 2), P41,173,000 for 10,590 beneficiaries; Central Luzon Region (Region 3), P83,241,000 for 17,690 beneficiaries; Calabarzon (Region 4A), P54,269,000 for 11,120 beneficiaries; Mimaropa (Region 4B), P22,412,000 for 6,060 beneficiaries; and Bicol Region (Region 5), P22,028,000 for 6,390 beneficiaries.
In Western Visayas (Region 6), the SPES budget is pegged at P37,128,000 for 8,870 beneficiaries.
Central Visayas (Region 7) had an allocation of P72,756,000 for 16,010 beneficiaries; and Eastern Visayas (Region 8), P24,320,000 for 7,130 beneficiaries.
In Mindanao, the allocation and target beneficiaries are: Zamboanga Peninsula (Region 9), P47,937,000 for 12,490 beneficiaries; Northern Mindanao (Region 10), P35,281,000 for 8,570 beneficiaries; and Davao Region (Region 11), P35,172,000 for 8,010 beneficiaries; Soccsksargen (Region 12), P55,045,000 for 14,390 beneficiaries; and Caraga (Region 13) P26,835,000 for 7,380 beneficiaries.