Press Releases


It would be easy to spot John Henrick S. Bagamano in a gathering of differently-abled persons. He is the youngest and the busiest among the crowd despite his permanent spine injury. While he can walk on his own, he never regained the ability to walk normally. Yet, he would strive to live a life like he has no permanent disability. 

John Henrick was like any regular boy until he met a vehicular accident that changed his future. His family rented a tricycle which was hit by a motorcycle with the driver under the influence of alcohol. Such an incident left him with a permanent injury not like his sister and his mother who were able to fully recover. He was ten years old when he learned that he will never walk the way he did before.

At a young age, John Henrick understands that he will walk differently but he will have to take the path no different from boys of the same age. He never expected the special treatment growing up that his responsibility remained the same as the first-born child. With four siblings raised by a single mother, he knows that he needs not only to set an example but also do the work for the family.

It is not surprising why John Henrick became an excellent student with above average grades. He is enrolled at the Laguna State University for a degree in Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in Science.And he will soon be a candidate to graduate as a Cum Laude should he keep up the good work in school.

DOLE Laguna Regional Director Exequiel Ronie A. Guzman recognizes students who excel in school and in life. He relayed that,

“DOLE’s Special Program for Employment of Students will always provide an avenue for students to earn and learn at the same time. Income earned from work is meant to augment the student’s budget for school tuition and allowance. It is also a way to help students better immerse with the duties and responsibilities at the workplace.”

Fair enough, John Henrick was among the SPES beneficiaries in Cabuyao City last year. He was assigned at the Cabuyao City PWD Office encoding over 100 profiles a day. As one with permanent disability, he can relate to the cause of other PWDs that he would take the job seriously in the office.

John Henrick became a working student when he was admitted in SPES for the period of November to December in 2020. He would still attend to asynchronous class requirements at night to fulfill his obligation in school. Testament to his perseverance, he still earned a grade point average of 1.27 during the 1st semester of his third year.

When asked why he opted to apply under SPES, he gave a short and simple reply, “Para sa pang suporta po sa pag-aaral at maranasan kung paano magtrabaho bilang isang empleyado.”

He further relayed that he gave a portion of his first salary to his mother for groceries and spent the rest for his personal needs and school allowance.

Apparently, he did not stop from being a working student. He still does part-time work as a tutor spending three hours from Monday to Friday to teach three students. More often than not, he would conduct tutorial lessons after 5:00 o’clock p.m. He learned the school and work life balance from his experience in SPES and would like to apply again this year.

As the president of the Brgy. Banlic PWD Organization, John Erick is also active in community work as a leader. He would arrange and coordinate the venue for PWD activities in partnership with the local government. During the height of the pandemic, he personally delivered the relief packages to PWD’s in the area.

DOLE Laguna Provincial Director Guido R. Recio is proud of John Henrick and other PWD’s who are also doing their part for personal, family and community development that he remarked, “John Henrick is not alone in walking through the struggles of life with the SPES program always looking out for hard working students like him.”

Rudyboy R. Sinay
Director's Corner

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