SPES money a big help to studes

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte, June 1 — Around 250 poor students received their salary for their work under the Special Program for Students (SPES) in Laoag City.

The students, who worked for 20 days in various offices of the city government, will receive P6,198 or P309.90 per day, as salary.

Under the SPES program, the city government will pay 60 percent of the salary while the Department of Labor and Employment will shoulder the remaining 40 percent. Students will initially receive P3,718.80 in time for the opening of the first semester of the school year and get the balance of 2,479.20 on the second semester.

In a random survey, the students said this is a big help to them and their families.

Cherry Simon, a third year student taking up criminology, said, “I will use the money for my tuition fee this semester. Enrollment will be next week.”

“My salary will help pay for my enrollment in my college course,” Sherwyn Dave Galot, another beneficiary, said in the vernacular.

Aside from the additional income, the SPES also provided the students experience to work in an office.

Simon, who was assigned at the Civil Security Unit, learned new things that could prove beneficial in her criminology course.

“I was assigned in the monitoring of CCTV and in the issuing of passes to those who enter the city hall premises. Aside from these, the staff taught me other security duties,” she said.

Business administration student, Randolph Lopez, had hands-on experience in processing documents and entertaining clients when he was assigned at the accounting office.

This summer employment is the Special Program for Students (SPES) mandated under Republic Act No. 7325 aimed to help poor but deserving students pursue their education by encouraging their employment during summer and/or Christmas vacation and providing income to finance, augment or subsidize their studies.

For this year, the city government under mayor Michael V. Farinas has committed 250 summer jobs for children from poor families, the biggest accommodation by any local government unit in the province. Farinas has always prioritized education, which is why the city government keeps on increasing the number of summer jobs since it started in 1993.

The program ended on May 29, 2012. (ANL/CPC-PIA1, Ilocos Norte)