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For others, internship is a usual phase of students’ career journey wherein they are offered opportunity to experience the reality of a professional work set-up. This is when they develop new talents and skills that they may use in the future as professionals. But for the case of these Government Interns in Department of Labor and Employment-Rizal Provincial Office (DOLE-RPO), the program helped them to gain the career breakthroughs that they are longing for.

An Answered Prayer
Mr. Joshua B. Itliong or Josh, as what his fellow colleagues from the Department call him, is a 28-year-old deaf from San Juan, Cainta, Rizal. He is the youngest among the three siblings. Since both of his siblings have their own families to support, Josh tried to secure a job after graduating from senior high school. He struggled to find a job for he is differently abled.
After graduating from the CAP College Foundation, Inc. as an Associate in Arts in Information and Technology, Josh consistently sent job applications to different companies, but hardly received any feedback. His burden gets heavier when his mom got sick, this made him more desperate to be hired to help with his mom’s medical expenses.

When his mother passed, Josh kept looking for a job that would suit him, carrying his mother’s will to persevere on his job-hunting quest. But despite all this, it is still hard for him to look for employment.

Josh admitted that after experiencing repeated rejections in life, he began to question himself.

“Naiisip ko, bakit ayaw [nila] tanggapin applications ko sa trabaho? Dahil ba deaf ako?” Josh contemplated.

He did not hold on to this setback for long. Josh pushed himself to try again. Eventually, he got an opportunity from DOLE-RPO and was hired as one of the beneficiaries of the Government Internship Program under the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP) as an encoder.

After five months of serving the Department as an Intern, Josh hoped that he could be a Job Order employee in the future.“Sana po [ma]grant ni Lord na magtuloy ang trabaho ko dito sa DOLE [bilang] Job Order. Para matulungan ko dad ko po sa aming needs,” Itliong added.

A few weeks later, former Rizal Provincial Director Marivic B. Martinez decided to promote Josh as a Job Order employee. She believed that Persons with Disability (PWDs) like Joshua should also be given an equal chance and opportunity. “We just want to give them (PWDs) an equal opportunity just like on what we give to the abled. I believe they also deserve to have proper employment,” Martinez said.

Josh is grateful to the Department for giving him another opportunity to work. “Maraming salamat po sa DOLE at tinanggap niyo po ako sa trabaho po. Salamat po sa mga kasama ko sa work and boss ko dahil mabait sila sa akin. God bless you all po!” he said.

Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons states that “no disabled persons shall be denied access to opportunities for suitable employment, and that a qualified disabled employee shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment and the same compensation, privileges, benefits, fringe benefits, incentives or allowances as a qualified able-bodied person.”

The Department continues to uphold the rights of PWDs by facilitating their access to employment and giving them equal opportunities.

Currently, Josh is working as a Technical Clerk assigned to assist in the implementation of TUPAD program.

Braving Life’s Challenges
Mr. Jomari O. Comota is a 24-year-old government intern residing in Floodway, Cainta, Rizal. Coming from a big family, Jomari admitted that he has experienced many difficulties in life. His mother works as a night watcher in their barangay while his father is a street sweeper in their municipality. Their combined income is only sufficient to sustain the daily needs of their family.

After he graduated from high school, Jomari opted to park his dream of becoming an educator. Having his family as his top priority, Jomari wanted to find a job that suits his skills so that he could help his parents in providing the needs of their family.
In 2019, he was offered to study in an all-expenses paid diploma course in One Cainta College. Not thinking twice, Jomari accepted the opportunity. Through his heartful dedication and perseverance in his work, he graduated in One Cainta College with a Diploma in Office Management.

After getting his diploma, Jomari believed that through the knowledge and skills that he acquired while he was in college, he might get a job with a better income. He tried to apply as a call center agent but unfortunately did not make the cut.

Jomari did not beat himself after losing another opportunity. He continued to motivate himself to seek a job.

He then came across a job posting at the Public Employment Service Office of Cainta and applied for the government intern position.

Such work opening is in accordance with the memorandum issued by then-Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, directing GIP implementers to hire beneficiaries who are dependents of minimum wage earners. This additional qualification is the Department's response to the increase of prices of basic commodities due to oil and COVID-19 crisis in the country.

Having met the qualifications, Jomari was immediately hired by the Department last September 8. He was assigned to assist TUPAD Focal Person and coordinators for the implementation of the TUPAD Program in Rizal. Since his diploma course is aligned in clerical work, he easily adjusted to the work environment.

In an interview, Comota shared his memorable experience during his stay as a Government Intern. "Noong nagfifield (work) po kami, nakakatulong po kami sa mga beneficiaries na naapektuhan din po ng pandemic," he said.

Dedicated and passionate with his work, he is recognized by his peers and his superiors. This led to his promotion as one of its Technical Clerks.

Jomari extends his gratitude to DOLE-RPO for giving him a new work opportunity.

"Maraming-maraming salamat po dahil sa ibinigay niyong opportunity sa akin. Mas lalong pagbubutihin ko po ang pagtatrabaho dito sa DOLE-Rizal."

Experience as work advantage

Rosalinda M. Brabante is a 21-year-old graduate of Social Work at the University of Rizal System-Montalban Campus. Prior to her graduation, Rosalinda applied as a Government Intern under CLPEP. A few weeks later, she received the good news from the Department that she was accepted to the program.

Rosalinda was deployed as a field enumerator in Montalban, Rizal wherein she profiles alleged child laborers in the community.

For Rosalinda, being an enumerator of the Department for five months was not easy.

She even admitted that there was a point that she wanted to quit. But all those worries were resolved, thanks to the understanding staff of the Department.

“I experienced both good and hard times while interviewing numerous children located in different barangays… I encountered different kinds of people and experienced mixed emotions that helped me to be a strong individual. There was a time when I decided to resign for some reasons, but thanks to our understanding supervisors who encourage and motivates us to continue and to be passionate in our job, they taught me to look for the positive side of our job which is the beauty and greatness of helping those vulnerable children,” Rosalinda shared.

Rosalinda’s experience as a field enumerator led her to get a work opportunity at the Municipality of San Mateo. Currently, she is working as a Municipal Nutrition Scholar wherein she assists in checking and maintaining the health and nutrition of the children in the community. She plans to be a full pledged Social Worker once she passed the Licensure Examination for Social Workers this year.

A Dream Fulfilled

For Ms. Jennelyn Ann P. Solayao, a 23-year-old graduate of Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, to be a full-pledge educator is always her dream. Since she graduated during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jennelyn’s quest to be a licensed professional teacher was halted as licensure examinations were suspended during that time.

Two years later, Jennelyn looked for a work opportunity that is closely related to her profession. She came across DOLE-RPO’s announcement that the Department is looking for interns, and she applied for the position. Just like Rosalinda, Jennelyn was hired as a field enumerator under CLPEP.

While she was a Government Intern, Jennelyn juggled her time in serving the Department, taking care of her ill grandmother, and preparing for her upcoming licensure examination. Although it was a tough journey for her, Jennelyn persevered to make her dreams come true.

DOLE-Rizal gave consideration to Jennelyn and let her cope up with her tasks as an intern whenever she has a review session. This helped her to focus more on her preparations.

She successfully passed the October Licensure Examination for Teachers last year. Jennelyn then extended her gratitude to the Department for its assistance to her. “As an educator, it has a great impact not only in my career but also in our lives. While I was pursuing my career as a teacher (taking Licensure Exam), it helped me to manage my time and gain more knowledge about the rights of a child that I can use in my teaching career,” she expressed.

Jennelyn took her oath as a Licensed Professional Teacher last January 29 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

The stories of these four interns only proved that internship was not only a training ground, but it can also be an agent for the career breakthroughs that the beneficiaries are aiming to achieve.




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