Senator Sonny Angara said Filipino out-of-school youth should be the main beneficiaries of the government’s summer job program to help them go back to school and continue their education.
Angara is the sponsor of Republic Act 10917 or the law that amended the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) to expand its reach by targeting not only poor students, but also out-of-school youth.
“Marami sa ating mga kabataan ang napipilitang huminto sa pag-aaral dahil gipit sa buhay ang kanilang pamilya. Dahil dito, pinalawak natin ang sakop ng batas para mabigyan ng oportunidad ang mga out-of-school youth na kumita at matustusan ang kanilang pagbabalik-eskwela,” said Angara, a known advocate of education and labor reforms.
The original SPES law aims to help poor but deserving students in pursuing their education by encouraging establishments and government agencies to employ them during summer and Christmas vacations.
To strengthen the program, the new SPES law mandates that out-of-school youth, college and tech-voc students may be employed at any time of the year. High school students, however, shall still be employed only during summer and/or Christmas vacations.
RA 10917 further raised the age limit of the program’s beneficiaries from 15-25 years old to 15-30 years old, and extended the SPES employment period from 20-52 days to 20-78 days.
Services rendered during the period of employment, relevant and related to the course of the beneficiary, may have equivalent practicum or on-the-job training credits; while the period of employment of SPES beneficiaries who were eventually hired as employees by the same employer shall form part of their probationary period.
Sixty percent of the salary of the beneficiaries will be paid by the employer, while the remaining 40 percent will be shouldered by the government, both to be paid in cash.
“Such salary should be used to pay for tuition fees and other education-related expenses including their daily allowance for food and transportation. Malaking tulong ito upang maagang makapag-ipon para sa susunod na pasukan at para magtuloy-tuloy na sila sa pag-aaral,” Angara said.
Such salary should be used to pay for tuition fees and other education-related expenses including their daily allowance for food and transportation.
Last year, with more than P700 million funding, the Labor Department said about 164,000 millenials benefitted from the SPES program nationwide.