To continue its commitment in providing employment opportunities to all Filipino people through collaboration with the private sector, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has officially renewed its partnerships with STI Education Services Group (STI) and the Golden Arches Development Corporation (GADC). These converging efforts among the organizations hold great promise for both workforce development and economic growth in the Philippines.

As early as 2012, STI has been in partnership with DOLE in conducting job fairs. This alliance opened doors of opportunity for their students to gain exposure to potential employers, allowing them to showcase their skills and talents to industry professionals. To fortify the collaboration, DOLE and STI renewed their partnership through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that further includes Career Development Support Program (CDSP) and Labor Market Information Systems (LMIS) in the services offered. The MOA was signed by Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma and STI Vice-Chairman and CEO Monico V. Jacob in a ceremony held last 11 July 2023. The event was also attended by Labor Undersecretary Carmela I. Torres and Assistant Secretary Paul Vincent W. Añover, and Alumni and Placement Services Head of STI, Anna Carmela Z. Aquino.

In his speech, Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the renewed alliance between DOLE and STI. He emphasized that the partnership plays a crucial role in supporting the promotion of full, productive, sustainable, and remunerative employment in the Philippines, as well as in facilitating access to local job opportunities for Filipino jobseekers.

Secretary Laguesma also took a moment to acknowledge the presence of Ms. Frankie Antolin, Executive Director for Talent Attraction and Development at the IT Business Processes Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), who also served as witness to the signing of MOA.

Speaking about the importance of collaborations with the government and the academe  in generating more jobs in Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry, Executive Director Antolin stated, “Ang kailangan po nating gawin, together with our stakeholders in the government and in the academe, with the input of the industry as well, is to turn our population into skilled and qualified individuals and the only way that we can do that is that we continue to work together, continue to talk to each other, and implement programs together.”

Moreover, the DOLE has also extended its partnership with GADC, the company that brought McDonald’s in the Philippines, to implement the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) – DOLE’s flagship youth-employability program.

The renewal of partnership was forged formally on 14 July 2023 with the signing of a MOA between Secretary Laguesma and Mr. Kenneth Yang, GADC’s President and CEO, at the McDonald’s UN-Del Pilar Avenue restaurant, their first ‘Good and Green’ store in the country.

Similar to STI, the collaboration between DOLE and GADC kicked off in 2012. With over a decade of partnership, DOLE and GADC have already provided employment opportunities to more than 14,000 beneficiaries, helping them develop essential life skills, foster a strong work ethic, and cultivate a sense of responsibility.

The partnership between SPES and GADC demonstrates the significance and strength of public-private partnership in assisting young individuals by providing them opportunities that will help mold their values and personalities, especially as future members of the workforce.

During the ceremonial signing, Secretary Laguesma highlighted in his speech the important role of private sector participation in the programs and services of the government and encouraged them to take part in implementing SPES. He said, “We are very encouraged and inspired with having active partnership with the private sector. We hope that the example that has been set by the GADC will serve as an exact sample to other private enterprises to emulate. Sana sundan nila ‘yung ehemplo ng GADC at magpatuloy rin na palakasin pa ang ating ugnayan.”

The Managing Director of GADC, Ms. Margot B. Torres, takes great pride of their SPES beneficiaries. She said, “We are very proud of the fact that the people who joined McDonald’s bring with them the training, discipline, and the values that they get from McDonald’s”. She also proudly introduced to the audience during the ceremony the McDonald’s managers who used to be beneficiaries of the program.