Jesse Christopher Lapinid’s successful journey with the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) started in 2004, when he was a fourth-year high school student. Coming from humble beginnings, with his father working minimum wage to support Jesse and his siblings’ education expenses, they heard about a SPES caravan at their city’s Barangay Hall which enabled them to obtain one slot for Jesse.

Joining SPES provided Jesse with the support he needed to continue and excel in his studies. During his first two years as a grantee, he worked at the City Human Resource and Management Office’s Records Division where he learned about records keeping and basic profiling systems. In his third year, Jesse was assigned to the City Sports Division, giving him an opportunity to learn cleaning techniques while also taking part in a short-course on swimming.

In 2008, Jesse’s last year with the SPES program, he was once again assigned to the City Human Resource and Management Office. This time around, his tasks were much like what they had been when he first joined the program two years prior. Joining SPES was a pivotal moment for Jesse; over those four years of service, he learned invaluable lessons that prepared him for life after graduation.

“To the SPES program students/beneficiaries, my advice to you all is to cherish the experience and learn from them. My professional journey, and success, is in part because of the wealth of knowledge and wisdom I gained from working under the SPES Program.

It was an ideal platform that prepared us the skill sets needed to become successful. Perseverance, hard work and willingness to learn are the values being espoused by the SPES program, and these virtues are key to a successful career,” Jesse said.

As of 2021, Jesse is the Acting City Planning and Development Coordinator of the City of Zamboanga. He was a SPES grantee from 2004-2008.


The SPES is DOLE’s youth employment-bridging program which aims to provide temporary employment to poor but deserving students, out-of-school youth, and dependents of displaced or would-be displaced workers during summer and/or Christmas vacation or any time of the year to augment the family’s income to help ensure that beneficiaries are able to pursue their education. END/With reports from Corazon Fatima P Fallorin/Eloina S. Idris