Context: The 2013 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) defines out-of-school children as persons aged 6 to 14 years who are not attending school and out-of-school youth (OSY) as persons aged 15 to 24 years who are not attending school, have not finished any college or post-secondary course, or are not working. Among 36 million people aged 6 to 24 years old in the Philippines, FLEMMS identified 36,000 in such categories with 3,500 out-of-school children, 17,000 out-of-school-youth and 10,600 undefined.
Unemployment amongst 15- to 24-year olds decreased from 1.274 million in January 2015 to 1.169 million in January 2016 according to the most recent Labor Force Survey. However, this is still 48.2 per cent of the total number of 2.424 million unemployed Filipinos. Driven by passion and potential possibilities, the government continues to formulate programmes that will help this marginalized part of society.
Implementation of programme/initiative: The Government Internship Program (GIP) is a government-run programme that aims to increase the employability of youth aged 18 to 25. It is a 3- to 6-month internship opportunity for 18 to 30-year-old OSY, high school students, technical-vocational students or college graduates to pursue work in public service at either the local or national government level. GIP serves as a training ground for future government employees. It aims to create a competitive and experienced workforce.
Since 2011, it has helped 25,534 young Filipinos. Moreover, the National Youth Commission, the programme’s secretariat, aims to run GIP as a form of poverty alleviation initiative. For this purpose, a monthly non-taxable stipend of 75 per cent of the highest existing minimum wage in the region is provided by the government.
Main challenges: The main challenge now is the creation of another programme – Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantage/Displaced Workers (TUPAD). GIP is part of a Special Program Fund (SPF) for TUPAD. Moving TUPAD into the implementation phase might decrease the chances of GIP interns getting into partner agencies since both GIP and TUPAD are driven by the same objectives, yet intern placements are limited.
Results achieved: From 198 beneficiaries in 2013, the number of young and talented Filipino youth who were given the opportunity to join government agencies and get a feel for government work reached 11,413 in 2015; bringing the total to 33,935. This increases equality of opportunity even for youth in remote communities. Opportunities for interns arise because institutions may opt to hire the interns either under a contract or as a regular employee.
Moving Forward: GIP encompasses various national and local government units and agencies, as well as their satellite offices promoting youth development. For instance, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has accommodated more than 500 interns within its central headquarters and in its 16 satellite offices. The programme opens an avenue for other OSY to apply for the chance to hone and improve their personal and competitive skills while serving the government and the people.
Replicability: Considering its nationwide coverage, only PHP 100,000,000 (US$ 1,940,000) was appropriated for the implementation of the programme. It is a relatively small price considering the positive impact on and of the interns in the programme. This is on top of other poverty alleviation and local development programmes, particularly the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), that the national Government is currently executing. Implementing institutions have a relatively small price to accommodate the interns, at least 1 per cent of their budget, making the programme low maintenance and highly replicable.
Date: October 11, 2017