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SPES law lowers family income requirement — Baldoz

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Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz said Saturday the amended law on the Special Program for the Employment of Students or SPES now requires a lower combined family income requirement than the P36,000 annual income previously required of SPES beneficiaries in order to qualify.

“This means more students can avail of the SPES,” Baldoz noted, saying that this is also possible considering the recent release by President Benigno S. Aquino III of the P168.1 million additional SPES budget he promised last May 1.

The additional SPES budget is on top of the P172.2 million SPES allocation for 2011.

The budget increase, Baldoz said, will benefit an additional 52,000 poor but deserving students from the country’s 16 regions.

The SPES is a work appreciation and work bridging program that enables poor but deserving students aged 15 to 25 years to pursue their secondary, tertiary, vocational, or technical education by working for a period of from 20 days to 52 days, except during the Christmas vacation where the employment period is from 10 to 15 days.

While working, SPES beneficiaries are paid the minimum wage prevailing in their regions — 40 percent by the DOLE in the form of vouchers for tuition fees and 60 percent by the employers in cash. SPES beneficiaries are also entitled to other benefits and privileges under the Labor Code.

“I encourage interested applicants to the SPES to apply early,” Baldoz said.

"They can go to the nearest Public Employment Service Office in their area to check if their combine family income meets the regional threshold as determined by the National Economic and Development Authority and, if qualified, submit their application,” she added.

Baldoz also called on all qualified employers in the country’s regions and provinces to hire SPES students.

“Since the SPES is already year-round, employers can submit their pledges to the nearest PESO office or the nearest DOLE regional or provincial office,” Baldoz said.

Meanwhile, the DOLE’s Financial Management Service has issued the regional allocation from the additional SPES budget as follows: National Capital Region (NCR), P29,798,496; Region 1, P9,147,469; Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), P3,062,487; Region 2, P8,244,621; Region 3, P13,302,949; Region 4-A, P13,496,437; Region 4-B, P7,041,649; Region 5, P6,140,467; Region 6, P3,839,987; Region 7, P15,020,655; Region 8, P7,261,923; Region 9, P9.876,521; Region 10, P13,598,906; Region 11, P10,561,978; Region 12, P10,195,212; and CARAGA, P7,510,243. (PNA)




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