DoLE job program to benefit 52,000 students

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By Anna Valmero

PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA— Over 52,000 Filipino students are expected to benefit from the additional P168.1 million budget for the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) program.

The additional budget raises the total budget for the SPES program to P350.282 million this year benefitting 136,000 students.

Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said President Benigno Aquino III released the budget to benefit poor but deserving students under the SPES program until December 31.

Aquino vowed during his recent State of the Nation Address to increase the funding for SPES until 2012 as prescribed under the SPES law.

“The additional budget will go a long way in enabling SPES beneficiaries to earn tuition money for their college education,” Baldoz said, adding that the program is aimed to help poor but industrious students who face the prospect of not being unable to enroll in college due to lack of funds.

The DoLE Regional Office 10 will get a share of P13 million from the increase, bringing the total 2011 SPES budget for Northern Mindanao to P19 million, said Baldoz. Over 7,000 students will benefit from the region’s additional budget.

Baldoz directed all DOLE regional directors to plan for its immediate SPES program implementation from September to December 2011 to avail of the budget allotment.

Republic Act  7323 entitles poor but deserving students to pursue their education by employment during summer or Christmas vacations.

SPES beneficiaries are paid by employers 60 percent of their salaries or wages and 40 percent through education vouchers paid by the government. The program is open to all qualified high school, college, technology or vocational students or drop-outs and interested employers.

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