The Department of Labor and Employment has extended its Special Program for the Employment of Students period from 52 days to 78 days to better provide employment and education to the country’s out-of-school youth.
The department also raised the age limit of the program’s beneficiaries from the current 15 to 25 years old to 15 to 30 years old.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the SPES will not only help poor but also deserving students and out-of-school youth finish their education but will also engage them in a viable employment-bridging program.
“Under the SPES law, we will not only be serving poor but deserving students and out-of-school youth, but also dependents of displaced workers, and would-be displaced workers due to business closures or work stoppages, or natural calamities, who intend to enroll in any secondary, tertiary or technical-vocational institutions,” he said.
In addition, students who are employed in activities related to their course may earn equivalent academic and practicum or on-the-job training credits.
“Under the new law, the SPES beneficiaries will be also be entitled to social protection by virtue of an insurance coverage with the Government Service Insurance System for a period of one year,” Bello said.
Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique Tutay also urged private companies and employers to compensate SPES beneficiaries properly.
“Employers pay in cash 60 percent of the salary of student beneficiaries, while the remaining 40 percent is shouldered by the government to be paid also in cash to be used for the students’ tuition fees and other education related expenses including their daily allowance for food and transportation in going to school,” Tutay said.