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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Solon seeks to institutionalize government internship program
Writer: Ma. Victoria I. Palomar, Media Affairs and Public Relations Service
30 November 2015 07:44:22 AM

A lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to institutionalize the implementation of the government internship program (GIP), which was conceptualized to involve the youth in public service by exposing them to government programs and projects.

Rep. Alfredo D. Vargas III (5th District, Quezon City) said House Bill 6225, otherwise known as the "Government Internship Program Act," seeks to formally set the guidelines of the internship.

"It also outlines the process of recruiting, screening and accepting GIP interns, and the terms of their compensation," Vargas explained.

He said the GIP is a major component of Executive Order No. 139, otherwise known as the Kabataan 2000 Program, which also extends financial assistance to help the youth meet their financial obligations.

Vargas, vice chair of the Committees on Health and on Social Services, said under the proposal, the government internship program will provide wider training and development opportunities among the youth geared towards acquisition and/or application of knowledge and skills.

"Aside from addressing their financial needs for possible educational needs, the GIP also aims to involve and introduce the youth in government programs, projects and activities and instill in them appreciation of public service and the spirit of volunteerism," Vargas said.

Under the proposed guidelines of the implementation of the GIP, the intern must be a Filipino age 18 to 25 years old at the time of the application period and that the internship period shall be a period of at least three to six months at the most and must be implemented on a year-round basis.

Likewise, institutions shall provide consideration to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), Indigenous Peoples (IP), and other applicants who belong to minorities and the marginalized.

Institutions are also required to designate an employee who will serve as GIP Desk Officer to oversee the implementation of GIP within the institution.

On the other hand, upon entry to the internship program shall be provided with a stipend amounting to 75 percent of the existing rate of step 1, Salary Grade 1 of the government salary standardization law and shall be non-taxable.

The bill states that the GIP shall not be considered as employment and that interns are hired for official purposes only.

The measure directs institutions to conduct trainings, seminars and other developmental interventions for the interns including, but not limited to mentoring, coaching and performance evaluation.

The proposed GIP outlines the process of recruiting, screening and accepting GIP interns and the terms of their compensation.

"Since the GIP also serves as a recruitment mechanism for potential public employee, the proposed GIP Act mandates all beneficiaries to take the Civil Service Eligibility Examinations," Vargas said.

Under the proposal, the Civil Service Commission is designated as the overall program manager and executing institution of the GIP.

It also establishes an Oversight Committee, to be chaired by the National Youth Commission to verse the implementation of the program.

Vargas urged the approval of the bill saying that "the GIP not only contributes to the employability of the students but it also prepares the participants to compete in the labor market."

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Social Services chaired by Rep. Arturo B. Robes (Lone District, San Jose Del Monte City).