Stipulated under Republic Act No. 7323, known as the “Special Program for Employment of Students,” as amended by Republic Act No. 9547 and 10917, is a government initiative designed to provide temporary employment opportunities for financially challenged students to keep them in school and finish their education by allowing them to work and make their school break productive. The program aims to help students earn extra income to support their education expenses while gaining valuable work experience in various industries and agencies.
According to the Revised Integrated Manual of Operations of Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) 2017, since its implementation in 1993, it has been considered one of the government’s most relevant and worthwhile youth employment programs. The beneficiaries, which are the students and out-of-school youth (OSY) will be exposed to the real world of work, where they will gain experience and enhance their capabilities as future members of the workforce. Through this program, it is expected that it will effectively hone their skills, attitude, and habits toward work.
The Department of Education (DepEd), through the Bureau of Learner Support Services – Youth Formation Division (BLSS-YFD) who shall spearhead the SPES will continue implementing this program from last year’s successful and remarkable implementation despite the pandemic. Hundreds of applicants showed interest in the program, however, due to the restrictions brought by the pandemic, only 80 out of 433 applicants were granted slots to be SPES beneficiaries.
Moving forward, as mentioned above, the DepEd shall continue its endeavor to strengthen the partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and shall accept 150 beneficiaries during the thirty-five (35) working days of SPES implementation from July 10, 2023, to August 25, 2023. The BLSS-YFD shall be responsible for the application, orientation, deployment, and management process of SPES beneficiaries in the various offices of the DepEd Central Office. Moreover, DepEd shall pay sixty percent (60%), and DOLE shall pay forty percent (40%).