Sonny Angara

PH youths urged to avail of jobs under SPES

September 19, 2021 Marlon Purification 278 views

SENATOR Sonny Angara called on the Filipino youth, particularly those who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to avail of the jobs under Republic Act 10917 or the Expanded Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) law and get their education back on track.

As the author of RA 10917 in the Senate, Angara said the law is particularly timely during this pandemic when the incomes of many families have been affected by the loss of jobs due to the extended lockdowns, be it on a short-term or permanent basis.

“One significant amendment we introduced in the SPES law was the inclusion of the dependents of displaced workers and would-be displaced workers due to business closures or work stoppages in the program. With what is being experienced by many Filipino families now, this will help keep their children in school,” Angara said.

Last year the Department of Education said that it expected the number of out-of-school youth (OSY) to reach four million due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the spike in OSY numbers includes students from private schools who opted against enrolling in the previous school year because of the prohibition on face-to-face classes, Angara said the data remains alarming.

Based on 2017 Philippine Statistics Authority data, nine percent or 3.53 million of the estimated 39.2 Filipinos aged 6 to 24 years old were considered OSYs.

Of that number, 83.1% consist of individuals 16 to 24 years old, 11.2% were 12 to 15 years old, and 5.7% were 6 to 11 years old.

The PSA data indicated that the most common reasons among OSYs for not attending school were marriage or family matters, lack of personal interest, and high cost of education or financial concerns.

Around 50% of OSYs belong to families whose income fall within the bottom 30% of the population based on their per capita income.

Enacted in 2016 RA 10917, extends the SPES offers temporary employment to the qualified individuals for 20 to 78 days. The law also raised the age limit of the program’s beneficiaries from the previous 15 to 25 years old to 15 to 30 years old.

Services rendered during the period of employment, relevant and related to the course of the beneficiary, may have equivalent practicum or on-the-job training credits; while the period of employment of SPES beneficiaries who were eventually hired as employees by the same employer shall form part of their probationary period.

Sixty percent of the salary of the beneficiaries will be paid by the employer, while the remaining 40 percent will be shouldered by the government, to be paid in cash and to be used for the students’ tuition and other education-related expenses including their daily allowance for food and transportation in going to school.

Under the Expanded SPES law, OSY and those enrolled in the tertiary, vocational or technical education may be employed any time of the year, while students enrolled in the secondary level can be employed only during summer and/or Christmas vacations.