/ 28 March 2022

SENATOR Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara on Sunday urged the youth, especially those who did not finish their studies or are having trouble finding employment, to explore the Special Program for the Employment of Students and the JobStart program.

Angara, author of Republic Act 10917 or the Expanded SPES Law and RA 10869 or the JobStart Philippines Act, said these two programs are even more relevant because of how the Covid19 pandemic has affected Filipinos.

Both laws were enacted in 2016 and have helped thousands of out-of-school youth and unemployed youth go back to school or find jobs.

“Every year, thousands of deserving Filipino youth benefit from the SPES and JobStart programs that we introduced as tools to assist them in getting their education back on track and for them to gain the experience and skills they need to become employed,” Angara said.

“In the past two years the number of OSYs and unemployed youth went up as the schools were forced to suspend their face-to-face classes and companies were not hiring due to the scaling down of their operations. Now that we are starting to see some sense of normalcy in our country, our disadvantaged youth should not lose hope because programs like the SPES and JobStart are there to help them,” he added.

The JobStart program aims to enhance the employability of Filipinos aged 18 to 24 by providing them with training, paid internship and full-cycle employment facilitation services.

The SPES offers temporary employment to individuals aged 15 to 30 years old for up to 78 days.

The primary target of the program were out-of-school youth but with the amendment of the original SPES law, the dependents of displaced workers and would-be displaced workers were included.

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 vacation.

“With the JobStart and SPES, we are giving our disadvantaged youth the opportunity to complete their education and land jobs so that they will be able to support their families and have a better quality of life,” Angara said.