DSWD to youth interns: For your safety, no internship program this year

Published March 8, 2021, 7:26 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

For the second straight year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) postponed the implementation of its Government Internship Program (GIP).

The DSWD announced the cancellation of the program for this year to ensure the the safety and protection of the youth from the continuing threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The decision to postpone the internship program was part of the DSWD’s continued adherence to the Inter-Agency Task Force Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine, particularly on setting of age restrictions for the public allowed to go out of their homes,” it said in a statement issued on Monday, March 8.

It noted that its decision “is also in compliance with the Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 18, series of 2020 on Alternative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms, specifically on reduced workforce in government offices to ensure that the appropriate social distancing measures are established.”

The agency said while, it recognized the right to participation and self-development of the youth, the health of the GIP participants should be prioritized.

“The postponement will ensure the safety and protection of the Department’s personnel and the youth interns, who are among the vulnerable groups,” it said.

As component of the government’s Kabataan 2000 program, the GIP seeks to provide an opportunity for both out-of-school and in-school youth with hands-on experience of working in different government agencies.

“The experience introduces the youth to public service which can later help them as they eventually join the workforce,” the DSWD said.

The program, which is implemented in the DSWD Central Office and all its Regional Offices, grants the qualified youth with a daily stipend for 30 days amounting to 75 percent of the regional wage rate, it noted.

Those who are qualified to apply for the GIP are individuals who are 18 to 25 years old, high school graduates or TESDA Certificate holders or Alternative Learning System certificate holders or holders of any similar certificate issued by the Department of Education or Commission on Higher Education, the DSWD said.

Among those who are “prioritized” as GIP recipients are members of the Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP), youth beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), and youth who are included in the Listahanan identified poor family.

The family income of the participating youth is also being considered during the application process.

It must not be more than the existing poverty threshold. “Over the years, the program has helped the youth gain useful experience in public service and learn the value of earning from the fruits of their hard work,” the DSWD said.