What it does: The Department of Foreign Affairs promotes and protects the interests of the Philippines in the international community.
Best known for: being the government agency that’s responsible for the welfare of overseas Filipinos
Staff stats: more than 5,000 employees
Financials: Php22.41 billion in the annual budget for 2021
The good bits: Insiders said that the DFA offers several annual bonuses to qualified employees.
The not-so-good bits: The DFA’s hiring process takes at least 30 days. Some insiders said that their application timeline took up to three months.
The DFA started in 1898 when President Emilio Aguinaldo appointed Apolinario Mabini as the first DFA secretary. The government agency became one of the first departments to be established as part of the First Philippine Republic.
It wasn’t in 1946, however, when the country had regained full control of diplomatic and foreign affairs post-World War 2. Since then, the DFA has endeavoured in several responsibilities including:
As of 2021, the national government appropriated Php22.41 billion to the DFA for its annual budget to perform its responsibilities.
The biggest challenge for fresh grads who join the DFA would be time management. Insiders said that it’s up to someone to see the fast-paced work environment as an opportunity to learn new things.
Most employees are willing to help new hires to become settled in their roles. The accommodating and collaborative work environment may be one reason why many choose to stay with the DFA. For instance, the median tenure of employees is 5.7 years.
New hires should also invest in traditional Filipino attire. The DFA observes a Filipiniana dress code every Monday. Employees follow a business dress code from Tuesdays to Fridays.
In 2019, DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said that a private contractor stole the personal information of passport applicants. Locsin cited the unnamed individual’s terminated contract as the reason for the crime.
The case inadvertently led the public to question DFA’s security measures and how the government handles personal records.
In 2019, DFA employees donated cash assistance and necessities to the San Lorenzo Ruiz Home for the Elderly in Pasay City.
The DFA’s fast-paced work environment won’t be stifling for new hires with a genuine curiosity for the Philippines’ foreign policies. In other words, they won’t feel overburdened with work if they want to know more about the country’s diplomatic relations.
Like other government posts, the DFA requires applicants to have professional or second-level Civil Service Eligibility. There are other mandatory requirements:
The DFA only accepts the requirements in PDF format. Applicants should send the files to email@example.com and indicate the position in the e-mail’s subject.
During the selection process, the HR recruiter may also ask for a certificate of good moral character from the applicant’s school.
The DFA will only contact the most qualified candidates. In general, the hiring process involves different steps for internships and entry-level posts.
Fresh grads and students should anticipate a long hiring process at the DFA. The department’s usual recruitment process may last for up to 30 days on average. Some previous applicants even had to wait for up to three months.
The Salary Standardization Law (SSL) of 2019 streamlined the compensation structure for government workers, including the DFA’s employees. From 2020 to 2023, qualified employees will enjoy annual salary increases and additional benefits.
Entry-level roles at the DFA belong to the Salary Grade 10 and 11 categories. As of 2021, Salary Grade 10 employees earn Php21,205 per month.
On the other hand, Salary Grade 11 employees earn Php23,877 per month. Employment benefits include healthcare coverage and miscellaneous allowance. Insiders said that the DFA provides several annual bonuses.
Administrative roles like cashiers, passport data encoders, and passport processors are among the DFA’s common entry-level positions. Otherwise known as Administrative Officers, a Roman numeral determines an employee’s rank.
For example, a fresh grad may join the DFA as an Administrative Officer I or II. Someone with at least one year of work experience usually starts as an Administrative Officer III.
The department’s cashiers completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy, Business Administration, or Finance. They are also known as the DFA’s collection officers.
Passport data encoders and processors finished a Bachelor’s Degree in Diplomatic and Consular Affairs, Foreign Service, or Public Administration. Their primary responsibilities involve consular-related tasks (eg front-end passport processing).
Once fresh grads acquire two years of experience, they can choose to become (FSOs). Recent grads who pursue further studies may also apply for FSO roles, despite having no professional experience.
The DFA welcomes anyone with a four-year bachelor’s degree to become FSOs. Entry-level employees work on analytical, clerical, and research tasks.