The Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) is one of the flagship youth interventions being implemented by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Since 1993, the program has touched the lives of countless individuals who aspired to have a better life through gainful employment.

With the pandemic affecting all facets of life in the region, youth employability and employment became a paramount concern. For years, government agencies in the National Capital Region (NCR) that shares the responsibility in human development addressed the concern to the best of their abilities and resources. Interventions such as Career Guidance and Employment Coaching and Government Internship Program of DOLE, Training for Work Scholarship Program and Tulong Trabaho of TESDA, and scholarships under CHED-UNIFAST, all aim to respond to said concerns.

The beginning of August saw the strengthened cooperation between the National Government Agency and the Local Government Unit (LGU) as the City of Pasig and DOLE-NCR welcomed the 700 SPES beneficiaries during its Flag Raising Ceremony on August 1, 2022. LGU officials, such as Mayor Victor Maria Regis Sotto, Vice Mayor Robert Jaworski, Jr., Congressman Roman Romulo, and its city councilors graced the event.

During the activity, Mayor Sotto expressed his hope for the SPES beneficiaries who will then be assigned to different offices of the Pasig LGU. He further emphasized in his opening message of the selection process they undertook to ensure that they are qualified and worthy of the said program.

DOLE-NCR representatives also joined the LGU officials, such as Director Lilibeth Cagara of the PAPAMAMARISAN Field Office and Senior Labor and Employment Officer Ryan Roberto Delos Reyes of the Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare Division. The former mentioned the SPES benefits as well as its objective of financial augmentation to help the beneficiaries to finish their education. The latter, meanwhile, focused his message of support on the employability of the beneficiaries—encouraging the youth recipients to develop proper work attitude and positive work perspective through the program. Further, Mr. Delos Reyes also mentioned the importance of the said program as it is a government contribution to upskill the future workforce.

The Pasig LGU through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO), in coordination with DOLE-NCR, is in the process of strengthening its coordination with the private sector as potential participating establishments on SPES implementation.

END / Ryan Roberto Delos Reyes