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Irish and Cristene: two former GIP interns, two stories of grit

Irish Jobelle Ton and Cristene del Rosario were both born and raised in a poor family.  

But among their similarities, the most laudable is their determination to rise above their present situation and not consider it a hindrance to achieving their goals in life.


Both were beneficiaries of the Department of Labor and Employment’s Government Internship Program (GIP). The GIP is a component of Kabataan 2000 under Executive Order No. 139, series of 1993 and DOLE Administrative Order No. 260-15 which aims to provide the youth the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and skills in the field of public service with the ultimate objective of attracting the best and the brightest who want to pursue a career in government service.   

The daughter of a tricycle driver and a housewife, Irish always wanted to help her family as soon as she finishes her tertiary education and finds a decent job.  She then persisted, making her the only one among five siblings to earn a college degree.  

Her first job was a three-month contractual enumerator at the Philippine Statistics Authority in Vigan City. 

“When my contract ended, it was really difficult to find another job,” she recalled. 

Until one day, she was told by an employee of the local government unit of Burgos, Ilocos Sur to apply as intern under the DOLE GIP.  

After accomplishing all the requirements, Irish was hired as intern of the said LGU. She was first assigned at the Municipal Engineering Office, then later transferred to the Municipal Agriculture Office.  Such transfer was more favorable for the 26-year-old Burgosinian as she is a BS Agriculture degree holder. Upon completion of her internship with the LGU, Irish was appointed to the permanent position of Agricultural Technologist. 

“March 16 marked the fifth year since I joined the government service.  As I look back, my heart is filled with gratitude for the second Congressional District of Ilocos Sur, LGU of Burgos and the DOLE,” Irish said. 

Irish is presently her family’s breadwinner. 

Twenty-four-year-old Cristene had to work towards her dreams while slowly losing her mother to breast cancer.  She and her siblings were orphaned by their father when she was just three years old.   

“The GIP is one of the things that helped me when I was going through all the challenges.  I was a fresh college graduate who needed work experience and financial resource,” she said. 

Then a holder of Bachelor of Elementary Education degree, Cristene, a Candonian, was assigned at the Candon City Mayor’s Office for six months.  

She worked as grade school teacher in an educational institution in the said city before joining the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology as Jail Officer 1.  

“I want to encourage other youth who might be in the same situation to never give up on their aspirations.  Adversities only serve to strengthen us,” Cristene said. 

To avail of the GIP, applicants must be 18 to 30 years old, at least high school or technical-vocational graduate and must have no work experience.  Individuals up to 35 years old may be accommodated as beneficiaries under exceptional circumstances, specifically in areas that are hardly-hit or stricken by disasters and natural calamities, such as typhoon, earthquake and the like, including man-made calamities. END/Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez with report from Sherwin Keith T. Abalos, DOLE-ISFO


RD Evelyn R. Ramos
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