“I am truly blessed,” said Ronald L. Serino, a self-supporting student and one of the 200 students from different schools of the province who received his salary under the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-X and the provincial government through its Public Employment Service Office, September 25 at Provincial Capitol, here in the midst of financial deficiencies this time of COVID-19 pandemic.
The SPES program was designed for qualified students who want to pursue their education that allows experiencing the real world of work. DOLE paid P3,823.06 for its 40 percent share and 60 percent counterpart of the employer with the amount of P5,735.40, giving a total compensation of P9,559.00 to student-beneficiaries for a work period of 20 days.
Serino, 21, is the fourth of the six children of a van driver and a housemaid. His three elder brothers who used to share for the family’s daily expenses were also greatly affected by COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, Serino described his situation as “Dili lalim. Bisag para sa pagkaon among ga-problemahan kung asa kuhaon (It is difficult. We always worry where to get money to buy food.)"
Currently, Serino is a 2nd year student of Governor Alfonso D. Tan College (GADTC) in Tangub City, taking up Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA.), Major in Human Resource and Management (HRM). Though GADTC is a tuition-free school, he still concerns financially on his food and boarding house expenses during school days. He then resorted to after-school jobs such as babysitting and reselling of ready to wear clothes. He also mentioned that he is currently on modular means of learning due to the pandemic.
In his 20 days of work from July 30 to August 28, he was assigned at the Assessor’s Office in the Municipal Government of Aloran. He was trained on the technical and systematic methods of appraisal, real property assessment, and tax mapping. Though he has no prior knowledge on his assigned tasks, Serino described the work experience as an opportunity to learn, earn a living, and experience transparency and accountability measures to become a good public servant.
Serino said, “Ang akong nadawat sa SPES diretso nako ug deposit sa tag-iya para sa boarding house ug sa akong kaon. Ako pa gipasubraan ug gamay para nilang mama (I immediately deposited the money I received from SPES to the owner of the boarding house and for my food expenses. I even spared a little amount for my mother and the family’s use)."
With their situation, Serino thought he could not attend school this year since his side-business was temporarily stopped due to the pandemic.
SPES as DOLE's youth employment-bridging program aims to provide temporary employment to poor but deserving students, out-of-school-youth and dependents of displaced or would be displaced workers during summer to augment their family income and ensure that beneficiaries are able to pursue their education.
Vice Governor Virginia Almonte, Sangguniang Panlalawigan members and other local officials were present during the SPES check distribution. (DOLE-X MisOcc/PIA Misamis Occidental)
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