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Building dreams: Former SPES worker now an engineer

Rowell Valdez works as Project Site Engineer for a local engineering company based in Candon City, Ilocos Sur.  For one who just passed the Civil Engineering Board in November 2017, the job is quite a good start.  He is currently in-charge of two construction projects, namely: barangay health station in Patpata, Candon City and classrooms in Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur. 

Even as a child, Rowell, who was a Special Program for the Employment of Students or SPES worker in 2012, liked and understood lines. He knew he possessed an interest in constructing houses.  

His father, a construction worker, must have been his greatest influence for developing such liking for the methodical process of laying out, assembling and fortifying walls and other parts of a building.  In fact, it was the lamentable thought of his father’s unfulfilled dream that served as one of his motivations to pursue his own. 

The twenty-two-year-old native of Patpata, Candon City, Ilocos Sur might hail from a family devoid of material and financial opulence, but never of the proper values and attitude needed to succeed in life. 

As a SPES worker, Rowell said he learned the value of hard work and further developed his interest in engineering.  

He was assigned at Candon City’s Planning and Development Office and Public Employment Services Office.  During his last two summer vacations in college, he helped in the construction of barangay halls in San Emilio and Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. 

Rowell was a consistent academic achiever in school.  He graduated from elementary as the class valedictorian; finished high school with second highest distinction and in college, he was a Dean’s Lister, a scholar and a leadership awardee. 

The SPES is an employment bridging program under the Department of Labor and Employment which aims to assist poor but deserving students, out-of-school youth and dependents of displaced workers in completing their education through the employment of those in secondary level during summer and/or Christmas vacation and those in tertiary or voc-tech level at any time of the year. 

“Hindi naging hadlang ang kahirapan ng aming pamumuhay para makapagtapos ng aking pag-aaral at abutin sa pamamagitan ko ang ambisyon ng aking tatay na maging isang inhinyero. At ang SPES ang isang naging daan para maabot ko ito,” he said. END/Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez




RD Nat V. Lacambra
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