LAOAG CITY, Sept. 4 – The Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) of the Department of Labor and Environment (DOLE) is manifesting its importance as a mean to help the youth to finish college education.
Kremlin Von Calara, 20, a criminology student at the Northwestern University in Laoag City, expressed his deepest gratitude to the DOLE and the Laoag City Government (LCG)) for making him one of the SPES beneficiaries since he was 4th year in high school.
Being a beneficiary of the special employment program, he was able to provide sufficient amount for his tuition fee and to purchase supplies for his schooling.
“Salamat po sa DOLE at sa Local Government Unit (LGU) of Laoag; dahil sa SPES, nagkaroon po ako ng pambili ng school supplies at pandagdag sa tuition fee. Sana matulungan pa po ako hanggang sa makatapos ako sa aking pag-aaral,” Kremlin said.
He is now one year away from realizing his dream of becoming a law enforcer.
The 4th in a brood of four, Kremlin grew up in the care of a foster parent who has less to provide for the family – a fact that he wishes to reverse if he would be given the chance.
Last August 8, 2013, Kremlin, who was one of the 286 SPES beneficiaries in Laoag City, received his salary from the labor agency for working as office assistants for 20 days at the city’s Community Affairs Office.
Kremlin received P2,700 from the DOLE-1 and P3,400 from the city government of Laoag, or a total of P6,100 for a 20-day work.
In a simple ceremony, DOLE Region 1 Director Grace Ursua and Laoag City Mayor Chevylle Farinas jointly hand-over the salaries of the 286 SPES beneficiaries with a total amount P708,994.00.
Ursua noted that the SPES program is being implemented by the labor agency and the participating local government units aiming to help poor but deserving students aged 15-25 years old to finish their education by providing them employment during summer or Christmas vacation.
During their employment, the students are exposed to actual work while earning money for their school needs.
The DOLE shoulders 40 percent of the salary while the participating employer shoulders the 60 percent.
“The SPES is an employment bridging program which provides financial assistance for deserving students. But more importantly, it prepares them for future employment,” she said.
“The end goal of the program is having graduates possessing skills, right values, attitudes and confidence for greater chance of bright employment,” she added.
She also lauded the effort of LGU – Laoag for its continuing support to the program and the DOLE-Ilocos Norte Field Office headed by Engracio Bailon for ensuring its successful implementation in the province. (FREDDIE G. LAZARO)