FUTURE STATE WORKERS. Government Internship Program beneficiaries undergo orientation in Isabela province in this November 2022 photo. The interns were deployed in various agencies for three months. (Courtesy of DOLE-2)

MANILA – The government must have an enticing program to encourage the youth to enter civil service, according to a bill filed by Senator Mark Villar.

Senate Bill No 1525, or the Government Internship Program (GIP), seeks to mandate all government agencies to provide compensation to internship program that would complement ongoing recruitment efforts in order to ensure that civil servants are well-motivated, properly trained and the deserving ones promptly recruited.

“The state must recognize the vital role of the youth in nation building and by requiring them for government internship, it will encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs,” the bill’s explanatory note read.

The bill states that interns shall be Filipino citizens only aged 18 to 25 at the time of the application while internship period shall be for a period of at least three to six months and must be implemented on a year-round basis.

Interns shall be provided with a stipend amounting to 75 percent of the existing rate of Step 1 of Salary Grade 1 and non-taxable.

The amount of the stipend shall be based on the trainee’s actual attendance, absences and tardiness incurred.

Among the duties that may be assigned interns are clerical/secretarial work, customer service, research and support services.

An intern shall be a beneficiary of the program only once, with the Civil Service Commission and National Youth Commission in charge of a database to serve as monitoring tool for all institutions.

“The GIP shall not be considered as employment. Thus, there is no employer-employee relationship between the beneficiary and the institution. GIP graduates shall be given preference in the hiring of workers in the institutions,” the bill states.

The Department of Labor and Employment currently implements the GIP to provide young workers, particularly the indigent, the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and skills in public service.

Interns can be aged between 18 and 30 and graduates of at least high school or vocational-technical.

Individuals up to 35 years old may be accommodated under exceptional circumstances, specifically in areas that are hit hard by disasters and calamities.

“The internship program bridges the gap between the academe and the workplace and it shall be beneficial both to the government as well as to the students,” Villar said. (Leonel Abasola/PNA)