In Zamboanga City, DOLE intensifies gainful employment through education and livelihood assistance, despite a crisis

Date Posted: October 1st, 2013 07:32 AM

Acting Labor and Employment Secretary Danilo Cruz yesterday called for the further strengthening of DOLE’s programs and services in addressing the issues of poverty alleviation and job generation at the local levelthrough the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) and the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP). Cruz sounded the call as he lauded the efforts of DOLE Regional Office No. 9 which, amidst the distress brought by the Zamboanga City crisis, has paid on time theP1,463,200 salaries of 825 SPES student-beneficiaries. In a report, DOLE Regional Office No. 9 Director Sisinio Cano said the regional office, in a simple ceremony held on 14 September at the Convention Center of the Province of Zamboanga del Norte, paid P396,000 and P1,066,800, respectively to 300 SPES grantees of the Provincial Government Office and 525 grantees of Dipolog City. The amount represented the 40 percent counterpart salary from the DOLE for the SPES. Director Cano personally handed the checks to the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Norte, through Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Manager RestieKyamko,and to Dipolog Mayor Evelyn Uy and PESO Manager Flora Atimosa. “The SPES is an opportunity to enhance the employability of the youth, who will eventually be the next generation of the country’s workforce. More than giving the students gainful experience while earning some cash they can use when they go back to school, the SPES seeks to achieve a long-term result of increased employability of beneficiaries,” Cruz said, adding: “With the reinforced implementation of SPES in the regions, we are confident that the lives of thousands of Filipino students who have no means, but have the ability, to pursue college education, will improve.” On this note, Acting Secretary Cruz expressed gratitude to the DOLE’s private sector partners and local government units saying their supportensures the success of the SPES and enables the government to maximize the use and benefit of limited funds. Director Cano also reported that the regional office has awarded the I-Café Computer Services Project of Ave Maria College Associate of Computer and Information Technology (AMC-ACIT) Alumni Association in Liloy, Zamboanga del Nortea P373,400 livelihood assistance grant, under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program, which consists of 10 computers and 1 photocopier. “During its one-month dry-run operation, the I-Café earned a net income of P2,412.56 for its internet business and P4,914.56 for its photocopying services. The association was also able to employ a shop-supervisor, who receives an honorarium of P3,000 per month,” said Cano. The DILP is one of the DOLE’s program enrolled under the government’s Community-Based Employment Program (CBEP) which aims to generate sustainable local enterprises towards increased self-employment and productivity across the regions. “With DILP, we now move forward to boosting sustainable employment creation and productivity in the regions,” Cruz finally said. END/hjtg
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