Christopher Gamboa, born in Koronadal City and son of a carpenter and a household helper, grew up dreaming to earn the best education possible with a strong ambition of becoming a professional someday.

He knew that going to college will be very expensive and his parents may have difficulty in sending him to college.

Upon learning of the Special Program of Employment for Students of the Department of Labor and Employment, he did not waste time and immediately applied to be one of the beneficiaries because he knew that SPES would alleviate his financial burden.

Luckily, he was accepted as a SPES beneficiary by the DOLE Provincial Office of South Cotabato in Koronadal City.

Upon joining SPES in 1999, Gamboa exhibited extraordinary performance and his superiors appreciated him, thus, he was always re-hired every summer until 2002.

Finally in 2003, Gamboa earned his degree in Bachelor of Secondary Education major in English at Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City.

He also earned the tag name SPES baby, a label given to a SPES beneficiary who has availed of the program during the whole duration of college until graduation, receiving a salary coming from a partner employer (60%), which on the part of Gamboa was the provincial government of South Cotabato, and from DOLE (40%).

After college, he pursued his career in education for 8 years and eventually transferred to the Employees’ Compensation Commission, which he considers a major breakthrough in his career.

He is presently the Information Officer of the ECC in Regional Extension Unit 12 and has been so for the past 2 years.

This summer, ECC, an attached agency of the DOLE, has screened and hired forty (40) SPES students who are children and family members of occupationally-disabled workers.

Ever since ECC started participating in the implementation of SPES in 2012 in collaboration with the DOLE National Capital Region-Makati, it gradually increased the number of its SPES participants.

From 15 students in 2012, it increased to 25 students in 2013. This summer, ECC has 40 deserving SPES beneficiaries.

Twelve students are assigned in the ECC Central Office while the remaining 28 students were assigned to different government agencies near their place of residence.

ECC plans to continue supporting SPES of DOLE as an income support program for ODWs and to encourage the children and family members of ODWs to pursue their studies and have a better future ahead of them.