Tuesday, June 18, 2024

New Graduates Get Feel Of ‘Real World’ In DSWD Cash-For-Work Program


New Graduates Get Feel Of ‘Real World’ In DSWD Cash-For-Work Program


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A total of 778 fresh graduates from Pangasinan and La Union state universities happily received their cash incentives on Saturday, the reward for their first jobs under the cash-for-work program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

More than the salary, they celebrated the learnings that prepared them for life outside the campus.

Ericka Solomon, 23, a resident of San Carlos City, Pangasinan and a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Education from the Pangasinan State University (PSU), recalled the pressure she encountered working as a staff of the Student Service and Alumni Affairs at her alma mater.

Still, she relished the experience as the benefits far outweighed the stress.

“It was like I was really already employed even though it is just a program. I experienced stress, like from the queries and concerns of our clients. But the program is a huge help to me and my family,” she said in an interview on Sunday.

Solomon said her communication skills were developed, as well as time management and professionalism.

“Those learnings should be earned,” she added.

She said her salary also helped her family since her mother underwent an operation in February.

“Instead of availing of the leave I was entitled to, for my review for the licensure exam, I opted not to so that I could save money and help in the financial needs of my mother’s operation,” she said. “I reviewed at night and worked during the day.”

Solomon passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers last year and is waiting for the result of her applications in various schools.

She applied for other jobs prior to the program but was not employed due to lack of experience and job mismatch.

There were 417 beneficiaries from PSU and 361 from Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University – Mid La Union. Some received a maximum PHP36,000 for a 90-day job or PHP400 per day.

DSWD Ilocos Director Marie Angelan Gopalan said the temporary employment under the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDS) for fresh graduates of state universities was conceptualized after the pandemic as a way to help students who were having hard time to save money for their requirements.

“There was an observation that many of the graduates were not able to immediately land a job. The program is like an extension of the Government Internship Program but this one is specifically for new graduates,” she said during Saturday’s payout.

The DSWD allotted 1,500 slots for the entire Ilocos Region but not all the state universities were able to fill up their allocations.

“So the idea is also to give them what it is like to be working at an agency such as in the Department of Education, their campus and their local government units,” she said.

Lawyer Bernadette Mapue-Joaquin, national program manager of KALAHI-CIDS, said the program is an opportunity for the fresh graduates to have work experience in preparation for actual job hunting.

“Some of them worked in schools, like in libraries doing administrative work, while others did technical work like writing letters, among others,” she told the Philippine News Agency.

She said the salary was based on the prevailing minimum wage when the work and financial plan was approved.

PSU president Dr. Elbert Galas said the DSWD program and the sponsorship of Senator Imee Marcos aligned with the university’s mission to “immerse students in actual workplaces.” (PNA)