What it does: The Department of Labor and Employment protects workers’ rights in the Philippines and promotes equal job opportunities.
Best known for: being the department that serves over 40 million workers in the country and overseas
Staff stats: more than 9,000 employees
Financials: Php37.10 billion in the annual budget for Fiscal Year 2021
The good bits: Fresh grads earn above-average starting salaries because of the Salary Standardization Law of 2019. The amount may range from Php20,000 to Php43,000 depending on the role.
The not-so-good bits: Insiders revealed bureaucratic policies that are typical for a government agency. Fresh grads should also anticipate a workplace culture that includes a steep hierarchy.
The DOLE started in 1908 as a small bureau before becoming a government department in 1933. Since then, it has protected the rights of local and overseas Filipino workers. The department comprises different entities to help with carrying out its mandate:
The DOLE has the 10th-largest budget among the national government’s executive departments. As of 2021, the department’s total budget amounted to Php37.10 billion.
The DOLE left a lasting impression among previous interns because of the department’s fun and productive workplace culture. Most of them learned a lot during their internship from being familiar with the Labor Code to administrative tasks.
The biggest challenge, however, involves potentially heavy workloads with challenging timelines for entry-level employees. As there are 161 entities comprising the DOLE, fresh grads should expect a steep hierarchy at the department.
In other words, they might find it difficult to achieve career growth. Insiders said that like any other government agency, bureaucratic policies often stifle a person’s progression within the DOLE.
The workplace environment isn’t all that bad for someone who wants to learn a lot. Employees still appreciate the depth of experience that they gained just by working at the department.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III faced a corruption complaint in 2019 over allegations of accepting gifts and demanding bribes. Bello also allegedly spent Php4 million of government money on questionable foreign trips
The department denied the accusations, with senior officials voluntarily expressing their support for Bello. More than 100 officials and recruitment agency members also said they still believe in the secretary’s integrity and leadership.
In 2021, the DOLE launched the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program. It provides displaced workers with emergency employment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The department plans to spend approximately Php4 billion on aid as part of the TUPAD program. The initiative has helped Filipinos in the National Capital Region and Mountain Province.
Fresh grads should expect a rather lengthy application process at the DOLE. The department seems to be a better choice for someone who’s more interested in learning opportunities than career progression.
Fresh grads need a Civil Service Commission (CSC) Professional or Second-Level Eligibility to qualify for most jobs at the DOLE. The department often advertises vacancies on the CSC website, but they can check the DOLE website as well.
Aside from CSC eligibility, applicants should also complete a Personal Data Sheet and include a passport-size photo. They can download the form on the CSC website.
Other initial requirements include photocopies for a certificate of eligibility, license, rating, and transcript of records. In general, the DOLE may perform up to five recruitment rounds:
Previous applicants said that an on-site interview and written test are more likely to happen before selected candidates undergo a background check. Fresh grads should still prepare for a phone call screening and panel interview.
The DOLE may take at least 30 days on average to complete the recruitment process.
Based on the Salary Standardization Law of 2019, entry-level roles at the DOLE earn a fixed monthly salary. Most positions for inexperienced people belong to the Salary Grade (SG) 10 and 11 categories.
For example, administrative officers earn Php20,219 per month as per the SG 10 pay rate. Many of the department’s entry-level internal auditors earn Php22,316 per month based on the SG 11 pay rate.
Attorneys, however, may earn Php43,681 per month because they belong to the SG 18 category. Aside from the government-mandated benefits, insiders said that the DOLE provides allowances and free food.
The DOLE’s entry-level jobs include administrative officers, attorneys, internal auditors, labour employment officers, and librarians.
Most employees in this role have a bachelor’s degree that’s relevant to the job. For instance, the DOLE may need someone whose academic background reflects supply operations.
The department’s attorneys completed a Bachelor of Laws degree and passed the bar exam. Fresh grads may start with an Attorney II designation as the entry-level rank.
Like administrative officers, the DOLE’s internal auditors finished a relevant bachelor’s degree. The department doesn’t usually require them to have formal training or work experience.
Most labor and employment officers have a bachelor’s degree that’s related to the role. Fresh grads can start as Labor and Employment Officer I or II depending on their qualifications.
Librarians at the DOLE completed a Bachelor's Degree in Library Science or Information Science. The department also accepts those with a Bachelor of Science in Education/Arts major in Library Science.