In picture:
Ryca Baligod Longan (L) and Rhealyn Baggas Gumacdang (R)

Believing that education is the cornerstone in the master plan of success, Ms. Ryca Baligod Longan reaches toward finishing her college degree no matter the difficulties she has to face.

Hailing from Sadog Dupag, Tabuk City, Ryca is the third child in a family of seven other siblings. She endeavored to finish her elementary and secondary schooling at the Dupag Elementary and Mosimos National Highschool, respectively.

At only twenty two years-old, she is no stranger to life’s many hardships pushing Ryca to work while striving to finish her college degree.

She availed of the Special Employment Program For Students (SPES) under the Department of Labor and Employment – Kalinga Field Office (DOLE-KFO) from 2017, 2019, and 2022. Despite the loss of her father and the family’s bread winner last 2021, she continues to thrive through this year’s SPES Program.

Ryca was assigned by the Provincial Local Government of Tabuk City to work at her barangay where she received clients and performed various clerical or administrative tasks. She even cleaned the surrounding areas of their barangay hall.

Ryca noted that her experience in SPES molded into her a positive attitude towards work, and developed her personality regarding public service. It also incremented their family’s income, which was spent for basic needs and school supplies.

Come June 2023, her dream of finally receiving her Bachelor of Arts – Major In English Diploma will come to fruition.

Rhealyn Baggas Gumacdang’s SPES story travels the same road as Ryca’s. Born seventh among nine siblings, Rhealyn knew how challenging it is to work and study at the same time.

In the duration of her tenure as a SPES worker-beneficiary from 2017, 2019, and 2022, she was assigned with clerical and administrative duties such as processing of clients’ documents at barangay Dupag, Tabuk City.

She widened her civic involvement by including activities such as gardening, and cleaning of schools during the Brigada Eskwela.

For Rhealyn, community engagement reinforces one’s personal effort to succeed, and by June 2023, her goal to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts – Major in English will finally come true.

As an advocate of youth-development, the DOLE-CAR has placed 5,595 SPES beneficiaries across the region – 1,012 of which are at Kalinga. Through SPES, the beneficiaries of temporary employment build social and technical skills, assist their family’s income, and encourages them finish their education which gears towards better opportunities.

Stories of Ryca and Rhealyn are but a fraction of the many SPES students who maximized their growth experience while undergoing the SPES program. Integrating determination and industriousness to the youth through SPES brings about responsible future workers and professionals.

end//Daryll B. Ponard with initial reports from DOLE-KFO