Jinggoy ad on student employment needs context
A campaign ad crediting to Senate hopeful Jinggoy Estrada the law requiring employers to pay no lower than the minimum wage poor students who work during school breaks under the government’s Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) needs context.
The 33-second "Boses ng mga Estudyante” ad uploaded May 2 to Estrada’s Facebook page @jinggoyestrada29 referred to Republic Act 9547 he co-authored and sponsored, and claimed:
Isinabatas upang ang mga mahihirap ngunit karapat dapat na mga istudyante ay magkaroon ng trabaho upang makaipon habang sila ay nag aaral pa (Made into law so poor but deserving students would have jobs so they can earn while studying).
The ad’s English subtitles added that students “may earn equivalent academic credits for work rendered” and “164,246 students have been hired” under the law enacted in 2009. The law applies to poor, deserving students from 15 to 25 years old.
The ad neglects to mention that RA 9547 amended RA 7323 which created SPES in 1992, giving the impression the program was new.
Estrada himself said in a Senate press release in 2010:
SPES is an excellent legislation but it needed improvements so I personally pushed for the adoption of such improvements on the old law to make it more effective and relevant to present and future conditions as well as to increase the number of students and employers that could benefit from the program.
Among the amendments the Partido ng Masang Pilipino Senate bet introduced to the old law are (1) granting academic credits to students employed in jobs related to their course, as stated in his campaign ad; (2) expanding employers' participation by lowering the required minimum number of their workers from 50 to ten; (3) setting a fixed maximum period for employment of students and (4) requiring employers to inform students of their rights, privileges and benefits as workers.
At the time Estrada’s bill was approved on second reading, a total 984,840 students had already benefited from SPES since 1995, according to a 2008 press release from the Senate.
His May 2 ad refers to 164,246 beneficiaries, an information it attributes to the Official Gazette, which compiles laws and other government issuances. — Lyra Lucero, Alyassa Lagua and UP Journalism Department
Facebook post. (May 2, 2019). Senator Jinggoy Estrada. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/319488142121/posts/10157420700662122/
Official Gazette. (April 1, 2009). Republic Act No. 9547. Retrieved from https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2009/04/01/republic-act-no-9547/
Official Gazette. (March 30, 1992). Retrieved from https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1992/03/30/republic-act-no-7323/
Senate of the Philippines, 17th Congress. (n.d) Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada. Retrieved from https://www.senate.gov.ph/senators/sen_bio/jestrada_bio.asp
Senate of the Philippines, 17th Congress. (April 30, 2008) Senate approves SPES amendments on second reading. Retrieved from https://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2008/0430_estradaj1.asp
Senate of the Philippines, 17th Congress. (February 24, 2010). “Jinggoy urges students, employers to reap benefits from new SPES law.” Retrieved from https://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2010/0224_estradaj1.asp
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