Rachelle Mercado, 24 years old, has three reasons to smile these days.
First, as a fresh graduate, she is lucky to be never unemployed after graduation. She immediately got hired as a government intern under the Government Internship Program.
Second, she clinched a record. As an intern, she was one of the 39 interns – out of 122 interns in the first and second district of Pangasinan – who was immediately hired after their internship. On a regional scale, Rachelle is one of 142 interns retained by their employers after their internship in 2014.
Third, she has now a job at the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) of Dasol, Pangasinan.
An agriculture graduate specializing in animal science, Rachelle sees a big chance at eventually becoming a part of the organic personnel at the MAO because three employees are retiring soon.
“I am indeed very grateful to the GIP because through it, I can say I found my niche in public service,” Rachelle said.
The young lady shared how she enjoyed her work at the MAO because she was able to put into practice her earned degree. Her functions included managing sow farrowing, castration of animals, animal vaccination, mangrove reforestation, mapping and monitoring of municipal rice plant areas, among others.
“Reports continue to come from the field that many more interns hired and placed by the DOLE regional office are being retained by their employers,” said Regional Director Grace Ursua in a report to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz.
“The DOLE regional office reported that its six field offices posted record numbers in GIP beneficiaries retained by their employers: Ilocos Norte, 29; Ilocos Sur, 21; La Union, 22 and Pangasinan, 70. This is a happy development,” Baldoz said, citing the report.
According to Ursua, the DOLE Regional Office No. 1 disbursed P37,941,755.39 to cover the stipend and insurance coverage of 1,946 interns under the GIP in 2014. Ursua said that while the regional office’s GIP budget for 2015 dipped to only P19,305,000, she expected that its impact would be lasting.
“We have assigned the interns at various local government units and national government agencies,” she said.
Aligned with the employment facilitation program of the government, the GIP aims to provide poor, young workers opportunity to demonstrate their talents and skills in the field of public service.
“Our goal is to attract the best and the brightest to pursue a career in government service, particularly in the fields and disciplines related to labor and employment,” Baldoz said of the GIP.
She congratulated Ursua and the regional office staff for the efficient implementation of the program, but reserved her praise to the beneficiaries themselves.
“I congratulate these interns who were given the chance to further utilize their capabilities in serving people, as well as the LGUs and agencies which participated in order to realize the objectives of the GIP,” Baldoz said.
END/Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez