CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Even amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the city remains to have the biggest number of Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) beneficiaries in Northern Mindanao region.
Kathleen Kate Sorilla, Public Employment Service Office (PESO) manager, attributed this to the allocation provided by the local government to sustain the program, in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
While SPES is a DOLE program, the number of beneficiaries depends on the counterpart allocation provided by local governments.
Sorilla said this year, at least 5,000 students stand to benefit from the summer work program from the initial 1,200 beneficiaries when the city started funding the initiative in 2013.
“Every year, they actually increase the budget in implementation of the Special Program for the Employment of Students,” she said. “It will depend on the budget of an LGU (local government unit), how much the LGU has budgeted for the program because that is what they will use within their locality,” Sorilla said.
To be qualified, applicants to the SPES school program should be 15 to 30 years old, no failing grade (recent grading or semester), a resident of Cagayan de Oro, and the parents’ combined net income should not be over PHP150,000.
Sorilla said city scholars are no longer qualified to join the SPES program to give chance to others.
The PESO manager also emphasized the continuity of SPES beneficiaries in order to see the success story until they finish their studies.
“The SPES beneficiaries in the first implementation are still the same in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 up to this year. So, if you are a SPES now, you cannot be removed and be replaced with another beneficiary,” Sorilla said. (PNA)