The Government Internship Program (GIP) is among the flagship programs of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that caters to youth development and empowerment. Mandated under the KABATAAN 2000 program, the program aims to provide opportunities for the youth to experience work in the government and at the same time, harness their potentials so as to contribute to the nation building initiatives.

Since its initial implementation in the 90’s, the program saw many of its beneficiaries in different careers, several of which are in the government sector. These beneficiaries reciprocated the prospects given by the government through sheer determination to make a mark in public service through hard work, dedication, and commitment.

The intent to deliver and realize the mandate of the Office is at the top of the minds of the 27 GIP beneficiaries that merited their appointment as Project-based Employees (PBE) under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers or TUPAD of which they were assigned to monitor its program implementation at the community level.

At the DOLE-NCR Regional Office, five former GIP beneficiaries Aaron Joshua Lasay, Michael Ryan Sia, Jeffrey Ang, Melvin Bolondrina, and Mary Joy Atienza were tasked to provide administrative support in the said program.

“Mahirap na masarap,” said Melvin Bolondrina when asked about his experience in touching base with the program beneficiaries. “Mahirap kasi pupuntahan mo sila, nakakatakot dahil sa COVID-19, pero masarap sa pakiramdam kasi nakakatulong ka sa programa at sa mga beneficiaries,” he added. 

For his part, Michael Ryan Sia said, “panibagong experience kumpara sa dating work assignment namin, kasi lumalabas kami at nakikita namin ‘yung nangyayari sa labas.” Sia added that he became more appreciative of his job as he realize the difficulties of being unemployed during this uncertain time.

All the five former GIPs said that their new work provides them opportunities to grow within the Department; allowing them to have a broader perspective of DOLE’s employment services. They also mentioned that their outlook in life became more positive and thanked DOLE-NCR for their continued trust.

The five personnel were among the staff of the Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare Division that rendered services during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic that placed the entire region under the Enhanced Community Quarantine and Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine status. Their performance during said time was remarkable as they diligently provided administrative support to the financial assistance programs of the Department such as the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), TUPAD #Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko Disinfecting / Sanitation Project, and DOLE-AKAP for Overseas Filipino Workers. They were also tapped to assist in other initiatives such as the Free Bisikleta (FreeBis) Project and calamity response intervention in Marikina.

As the Christmas season approaches, more programs are to be implemented and given to the various beneficiaries of the Department. When asked if they will be willing to extend support to other interventions, they are in unison in answering “s’yempre naman!” 

Mary Joy Atienza, in showing her gratitude to DOLE for the career movement quipped, “salamat talaga sa DOLE-NCR kasi na-consider kami as PBE ng TUPAD kaya pagbubutihin namin ang pagtatrabaho.”

END / Ryan Roberto Delos Reyes