12 August 2022 — With the aim of helping students who are financially struggling to support their education but want to pursue schooling, the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) was able to provide assistance to 57,632 deserving beneficiaries during its first semester implementation for the current year. This translates to 64.21% accomplishment rate vis-à-vis the 2022 total target of 89,750 beneficiaries.

A huge percentage of SPES beneficiaries were students at 93.06% (53,632) of which 39.16% (21,002) are males and 60.84% (32,630) are females. The remaining 6.94% (4,000) are out-of-school youth (OSY) composed of males at 48.68% (1,947) and females at 51.33% (2,053).

Perhaps the most outstanding accomplishment of the Program during the first semester was its provision of support to members of marginalized and vulnerable communities. These communities are typically found in remote locations where obtaining basic services is rather challenging. Extending assistance to these individuals required extraordinary effort from program implementers which they did not fail to deliver.

A total of 29 beneficiaries with disabilities were assisted across the country with 15 from Region 7, six (6) from Region 2, three (3) each from Regions 4A and MIMAROPA, and two (2) from Region 5. This illustrates the Program’s inclusivity; granting everyone access to its offerings regardless of their circumstances. Additionally, the program assisted 42 dependents of sugar plantation workers in Region 11 and 1,510 dependents of indigenous peoples: 965 from Region 11, 380 from CAR, 115 from Region 2, 35 from MIMAROPA, nine (9) from RO 3, and six (6) from Region 7.

SPES is a youth employment-bridging program that provides short-term employment to poor but deserving students, out-of-school youth, and dependents of displaced or would-be displaced workers to augment the family’s income and help ensure that beneficiaries are able to pursue their education.