GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The provincial government of South Cotabato is set to hire some 623 students this summer for the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES).
Flora Cavan, South Cotabato Public Employment Services Office (PESO) manager, said Monday they will conduct a series of screening next week for this year's initial batch of SPES beneficiaries.
She said they released the required forms last Friday night to some 700 prospective applicants, who came from the province's 10 towns and lone city.
The team commissioned by the local government will conduct the stringent screening process and will start the interview of applicants on Jan. 14, she said.
"The targeted beneficiaries are poor but deserving students aged 15 to 30 years-old who intend to continue their studies," she said.
Under the program, Cavan said some 523 beneficiaries will be working this summer in various offices of the provincial government.
As in the previous years, the selected students will be assigned in batches and will render at least 20 days of service within the months of April and May.
She said 100 other beneficiaries will be absorbed by a shopping mall based in Koronadal City.
As agreed with the company, she said the beneficiaries will render longer days of service, up to 78 days.
Cavan said those hired by the provincial government will receive a daily pay of PHP477.73 as approved by the provincial board last year.
She said beneficiaries who will be working at a local mall will get a daily salary of PHP311, which is the prevailing minimum wage for private workers in Region 12 or Soccsksargen.
SPES is a flagship program implemented by local government units and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to assist poor but deserving students and out-of-school youths intending to pursue their education to gain employment during summer, Christmas vacation or any time of the year.
The initiative, which has a maximum annual cycle of 52 days per beneficiary, mainly caters to students in the tertiary, technical or vocational level.
DOLE provides for the 40 percent of the beneficiaries’ salaries, which is based on an area’s prevailing minimum daily wage rate, while the employing offices or establishments shoulder the remaining 60 percent.
Last year, the provincial government hired some 500 students for the summer SPES and 263 more for the year-round component. (PNA)