MANILA, Nov 30 (Mabuhay) – A lawmaker has filed a measure seeking to institutionalize the implementation of the government internship program (GIP) aimed at exposing the youth to public service by way of their participation in government programs and projects.
House Bill 6225 filed by Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas will formally set the guidelines of the internship, as well as outline the terms of recruiting, screening and compensating the interns.
Under the measure, a GIP intern must be a Filipino aged 18 to 25 years old at the time of the application period. Government institutions must provide consideration to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), Indigenous Peoples (IP), and other applicants who belong to minorities and the marginalized.
The measure sets the internship period from at least three months to a maximum of six months. The program must be implemented on a year-round basis.
Government agencies are required to designate an employee who will serve as GIP Desk Officer to oversee the internal implementation of program.
Upon entry to the GIP, the intern 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.
However, 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.
The Civil Service Commission is designated as the overall program manager and executing institution of the GIP.
In seeking the bill’s passage, Vargas noted that the GIP has not only helped in exposing the youth to public service but also addressed the financial needs of the interns.
He said the program, which is a major component of Executive Order No. 139, otherwise known as the Kabataan 2000 Program, also makes the youth’s prospects of employability more attractive.
“The GIP not only contributes to the employability of the students but it also prepares the participants to compete in the labor market,” the lawmaker said.
The bill has been referred to the House of Representatives Committee on Social Services for further deliberation. (MNS)