Meet Irene Latag: 1st female YV member to join National Youth Commission’s summer internship program

Irene Latag is a Young Voices (YV) member from Manila. She is a 23-year old amputee and a bone cancer survivor. Irene was the first female member of the Young Voices who experienced being a Government Internship Program (GIP) trainee in NYC. She applied for the National Youth Commission’s GIP, a summer training cum employment program that seeks to engage the youth in constructive and productive public service to draw their support and understanding of government programs and projects.

Irene recalls that she was immediately impressed during her very first visit to the NYC office to submit her resume, and she found that it was easily accessible to PWDs because it had accessible facilities like ramp and an elevator.
She shared how she felt really nervous during her final interview since that was the first time that she was going to have a job interview. There were 90+ applicants and they were told that NYC needed only 20 trainees. Soon after the interview by Gabriel Jess D. Baleos, Executive Assistant of Commissioner Ramon Gregorio A. Tingson, Irene was informed that she had been accepted as a GIP trainee.
Elated, Irene attended the GIP orientation after three days. She was already getting worried because she thought that she was only GIP trainee with disability. Fortunately, Irene discovered that NYC had another trainee who also used crutches for walking, and who also had also polio. She told herself, that she was not going to be alone anymore. During the orientation, the trainees were given a brief background about the National Youth Commission, and about being a GIP trainee. They were told that it was going to be a three-months training in office work, specifically government work. They were to be given a monthly stipend of Php 5,600.00.

Immediately after the orientation, she got to meet her supervisors, namely Commissioner Tingson, Executive Assistant III Baleos, and Administrative Assistant V Rosalinda D. Madamba.

They were also provided with seminars twice a month, including seminars in Basic Labor Rights, telephone Etiquette, etc. The NYC also involved the GIP trainees in other activities including Alay -Lakad, tree -planting and forums on the RH bill, etc.
Every Monday, they would assign one of the GIP trainees to give an impression about their job training. Irene was also given the chance to talk in front of the NYC staff.

She was pleasantly surprised one morning, when she saw the handrail and also the signage of PWDs in the rest room. Irene was so happy that they put it because it was a big help for the PWDs who want to be part of NYC like her. She went to office of NYC Chairman Leon M. Flores III to personally thank him to that good idea of putting handrail and signage for the accessibility of PWDs there.

Before her three months summer job training at NYC ended, she placed her suggestion for the NYC to accept more PWDs not only as trainees but also as regular employees, and to make the NYC office even more accessible for PWDs. In her last day of training, two of the Young Voices members applied there as GIP trainees for the next batch after her.
Besides Irene, there were other YV- Manila members who experienced being GIP trainees.

  • Rowel Balaguer –former YV member
  • Ronald Ganzan – former YV member
  • Cleford Trocino – YV member
  • Jefferson Biteng – YV member

And there are two YV members, who are presently undergoing training at NYC,
• Angelique Vizorro
• Cristina Dayon
The Government Internship Programme is open to all Filipino youth, who are between 18-25 years, who must be high school graduates, vocational or college students, college graduates who are interested in working in the government, or “poor but deserving” out-of-school youth. A GIP trainee is entitled to an incentive of 75% of the existing minimum wage rate. The training period is a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 3 months.