A total of 850 Antiqueño students have been hired under the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) of the labor department.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Antique provincial office information officer Donnabelle Baldonado said on Wednesday the program provides poor but deserving students the opportunity to work and earn while at the same time acquiring knowledge and developing their skills.
“There are local government units (LGUs), schools, and private establishments that have partnered with DOLE for the SPES implementation,” Baldonado said in an interview.
She added that the first SPES implementation was in partnership with a private school here, the Advance Central College (ACC), where 50 students were deployed from April 25 to June 3, doing clerical work and other tasks assigned to them for 20 days.
Since the implementation was done before the new minimum wage rate took effect, they were paid based on the previous rate of PHP395 a day.
DOLE shouldered 40 percent of the wage and 60 percent is paid by the employer.
The program has an ongoing partnership with the towns of Bugasong, Culasi, Hamtic, Laua-an, Pandan, and Valderrama.
It will soon be implemented in the municipalities of Anini-y, Barbaza, Belison, Libertad, Patnongon, San Jose de Buenavista, San Remigio, Sebaste, Sibalom, Tibiao, and Tobias Fornier.
Aside from local government units, other partners that have adopted the program are the University of Antique (UA) main campus in Sibalom, Antique Electric Cooperative (Anteco), Barbaza Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and the Antique provincial government.
The program is expected to start anytime this June until August for the rest of the LGUs and other implementing partners.
Baldonado said the number of students employed through SPES varies depending on the available fund of their partner LGUs, schools, and establishments. (PNA)