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No longer happy in your present job? Consider joining the government—you might find happiness there.
The government is, in fact, one of the three happiest places to work in, found a JobStreet Philippines study1. Employees who participated in the survey cited their agency’s reputation, a good relationship with immediate superiors, and their agency’s mission, vision, and values as reasons for being satisfied with their jobs.
Another JobStreet survey revealed that eight in every 10 candidates2 on the job search platform wanted to work for the government.
What is it about government jobs that keep employees happy and get prospective applicants interested?
If you want to know about what it’s like to work in the government and how to start your civil service career, this guide is for you.
Table of Contents
- What are the types of government position status?
- What are the qualifications for government jobs?
- Advantages of working in the Philippine government.
- Disadvantages of working in the Philippine government.
- How to Apply for a Government Job in the Philippines: 6 Steps.
- 1. Check for vacant posts.
- 2. Submit the application requirements.
- 3. Undergo an initial interview and exam.
- 4. Show up for the final interview and final exam.
- 5. Submit the pre-employment requirements.
- 6. Sign your appointment papers.
- Tips and Warnings.
- Frequently Asked Questions.
- 1. How much do government employees make?
- 2. Can PWDs work for the government?
- 3. Is it better to work for the government or the private sector?
- 4. What kinds of government jobs are available?
- 5. What are the best government agencies to work for in the Philippines?
- 6. Where can I find government jobs in the Philippines?
- 7. What is the government’s basis for hiring an employee? Do I need a backer to get hired?
- 8. How long is the hiring process for government jobs in the Philippines?
- 9. How can I apply for the authentication of civil service eligibility?
- 10. Where can I get a psychological test?
- 11. Is there an age limit for government jobs in the Philippines?
- 12. Are government employees entitled to 13th-month pay?
What are the types of government position status?
Be warned—not all government workers in the Philippines are automatically appointed to a permanent position.
Some start as casual or contractual workers and either retain that status for a long time or eventually get appointed as regular employees. Others provide services to the government on a job order or consultancy basis and are thus not considered government employees.
Each employment status differs in terms of duration (whether permanent or temporary), nature of work, and benefits. It’s important to understand the different positions in the government, so you’d know what to expect before you get hired.
Regular employees hold permanent (also called “plantilla”) positions in the government and enjoy a full employer-employee relationship. They’re entitled to complete benefits under the law, including GSIS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG Fund membership; paid vacation and sick leaves; and terminal leave benefits.
Casual workers are employed on a seasonal or emergency basis. Government agencies hire casual employees to fill in their workforce gaps, such as when their existing staff is not enough to meet the demands of a service or project.
These seasonal employees are paid the daily wage according to the “No Work, No Pay” policy. Meaning, they’re paid only on days they actually worked.
Casual employees receive allowances and other benefits that regular workers enjoy.
If your appointment in the government is coterminous, it means your length of service will be the same as the tenure of the official who appointed you. Or you’ll stay employed for as long as the appointing official has trust and confidence in you.
Examples of coterminous positions are executive assistants and private secretaries. Because they’re appointed, they don’t go through the usual hiring process.
On the other hand, some coterminous appointments are based on the duration of the project or the availability of funds. The hiring of project-based workers is based on competency.
Like casual employees, coterminous workers enjoy the same benefits provided to regular employees.
Government employees on a contractual status take on a particular job for a short period of up to one year. Their contract can be renewed every year until their services are no longer needed.
Contractual employees are hired for urgent work or project or one requiring an expertise that’s not available among the regular staff. They’re expected to produce definite outputs.
Salaries of contractual personnel are the same with comparable permanent positions in the government. They also receive benefits similar to those granted to regular employees.
5. Job order.
Job order workers in the government perform a specific job (not done by regular employees ) and are paid on a piecework basis. Locally, this is known as the “pakyaw” system.
Examples of job order workers are those who provide manual labor such as carpentry, plumbing, janitorial, security, and messenger services. Some government workers are hired for emergency jobs like clearing road debris after a natural disaster.
Their contract lasts for a short period, which is renewable every six months.
Job order workers are not considered government employees, as no employer-employee relationship exists in their contract. Thus, they’re not entitled to bonuses and other benefits given to regular employees.
Instead, they receive only the basic pay equivalent to the salary grade of comparable regular positions plus a premium of up to 20%.
6. Consultancy/Contract of service.
Government agencies get the services of consultants when they require a certain special or technical skill that’s not available among their staff. These consultants are experts in their field, such as technical consultants and public relations specialists, who render services to the government with expected outputs.
Like job order workers, consultants are not considered government employees. They’re hired only for temporary projects or activities.
Their services are not covered by the civil service law. Rather, they’re covered by the rules of the Commission on Audit (COA). Their service duration and benefits depend on the terms of their contract.
What are the qualifications for government jobs?
Already decided in starting a career in public service? You need to have all the credentials required for a government job.
1. Basic qualifications.
At the minimum, candidates for government jobs in the Philippines must meet the following requirements:
- Filipino citizen;
- At least 18 years old;
- Never been found guilty of a crime;
- Never been found guilty of offenses related to the conduct of a civil service examination;
- Never been dismissed for cause from any civilian government position or dishonorably discharged from the military service.
The required minimum education depends on the position you’re applying for.
Most entry-level, technical, and supervisory government posts require a bachelor’s degree relevant to the job.
If you’re eyeing an executive, managerial, or division chief position, you need to be a master’s degree holder in a relevant field.
Some government jobs don’t require a college diploma, though. In fact, government agencies welcome undergraduates who apply for certain posts.
For example, completing second year in college (at least 72 academic units in a CHED-accredited institution) is the minimum requirement for positions like clerk, administrative assistant, and computer operator.
Jobs like security guards require only a high school diploma.
Elementary school graduates qualify for blue-collar jobs such as driver, messenger, plumber, and machine operator.
For jobs at the lowest end of the pay scale such as administrative aide, metro aide, and utility worker, only the ability to read and write is required.
3. Work experience.
Technical positions that require expertise or specialization mostly require relevant work experience in either the government or private sector. The minimum could be one year, two years, four years, or longer depending on the post.
Work experience acquired as a job order worker or consultant in the government can be considered for meeting the experience requirement.
Some positions in the government don’t require any previous job experience at all. In fact, the government encourages fresh college graduates to apply for government jobs. It’s a great time to start their career in public service, as their fresh ideas and perspectives can help spark positive change in the government.
Government agencies often prefer candidates who have attended training that would help them perform the duties of the position they’re applying for.
Attended training—such as conferences, seminars, workshops, coaching, and mentoring—could be formal or non-formal and conducted by a government agency or private organization.
Some government jobs require a certain number of hours of training relevant to the job being applied for. Other positions don’t have any required training hours.
5. Civil service eligibility.
For regular government positions, passing the civil service exam (also called the Career Service Examination) is the only way to pursue a career in the government.
Passing one of the following civil service exams is required for specific government positions:
- For officer and technical positions (second-level eligibility): Career Service Professional exams
- For clerical and non-technical posts (first-level eligibility): Career Service Subprofessional exams
Civil service eligibility is not required for casual, contractual, and coterminous positions, but candidates that have it are given preference during the screening process.
Government jobs involving the practice of a profession (such as attorney, accountant, and engineer) require passing the bar examination or licensure board examination instead of the civil service examination.
In job listings, these positions often indicate RA 1080 as the eligibility requirement. Republic Act 1080 grants civil service eligibility to bar exam and board exam passers.
In addition, certain groups of people are eligible to work in the government without having to take the civil service exam. These include college honor graduates (summa cum laude/magna cum laude/cum laude) and barangay officials, among others.
On top of the civil service exam, some government positions also require passing the following examinations:
- Top management positions: Career Executive Service Eligibility Examination;
- Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Officer – Fire Officer Examination;
- Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Officer – Penology Officer Examination;
- Diplomats/Members of the Philippine Diplomatic Corps – Career Service Examination for Foreign Service Officer.
Advantages of working in the Philippine government.
Public service is an attractive career option for many Filipinos, not only in terms of monetary benefits but also in personal fulfillment.
Here’s why you should consider working for the government:
1. Job security.
Security of tenure is one of the top reasons people want to work for the government, according to the JobStreet survey.
Unlike private companies, the government will never go out of business. Some agencies may get dissolved, but government job opportunities still abound. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of unfilled positions waiting for qualified candidates.
Permanent government employees enjoy job stability. Once you get a regular position, you won’t get easily fired. You’re guaranteed to stay employed until your retirement. Only a valid reason or a court ruling can remove a regular employee from the service.
2. Competitive salary and benefits.
The low salary is one of the biggest misconceptions about working in the government. But actually, government salaries are competitive with the private sector—especially for entry-level positions up to the middle-management level.
For instance, public school teachers are paid twice as much as their private school counterparts3, according to then Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno. Teachers in public schools are paid even during vacation.
This is because the government implements the Salary Standardization Law that increased the rates being paid to its workers.
Aside from very competitive salaries, full-time and part-time government employees (whether regular, casual, contractual, or coterminous) enjoy plenty of benefits and privileges.
However—just to set your expectations right—government employees must meet certain conditions before they qualify for each benefit (see the table below).
|Mid-Year Bonus (14th month pay) worth one-month basic salary released on May||Have rendered at least four months of satisfactory service as of May 15|
|Year-End Bonus worth one-month basic salary released on November||Have rendered at least 4 months of satisfactory service as of October 31|
|Annual cash gift paid along with the year-end bonus||*Php 5,000 for employees who have rendered at least 4 years of service
*Pro-rated amount for workers who have rendered less than 4 months of service
|Overtime pay (including work rendered on rest days or holidays)||For overtime work required and rendered during unforeseen events and emergencies|
|Night-shift differential pay||For night-shift employees who work anytime between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.|
|Hazard duty pay||For employees assigned to conflict-affected areas|
|Subsistence allowance||For employees required to continue working during mealtimes such as public health workers|
|Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA) worth Php 500 monthly||Not applicable to elected officials and employees deployed abroad|
|Additional Compensation (ADCOM) worth Php 1,500 monthly||None|
|Laundry allowance||For personnel required to wear uniforms such as public health workers|
|Representation and Transportation Allowances (RATA)||For heads of agencies with positions such as Department Secretary, Executive Director, Division Chief, etc.|
|Automatic membership to SSS, GSIS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG Fund||None|
|Annual paid leaves (15-day sick leave and 15-day vacation leave)||None|
|Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI)||*Amount depends on the savings of the national government.
*Employees who have rendered at least 4 months of satisfactory service get the full amount.
*Employees who have worked for less than 4 months get a pro-rated amount.
|Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) ranging from Php 5,000 to Php 35,000 per year||*Released only when the agency achieves its performance targets.
*Paid to employees based on their performance.
|Anniversary bonus||Paid to employees during their agency's milestone anniversaries (e.g., 15th founding anniversary)|
|Collective Negotiation Agreement Incentive (CNAI) of up to Php 25,000||*For members of accredited employees’ unions.
*Paid only when an agency has enough savings to fund it.
Job order workers and consultants are not entitled to such benefits because they have no employer-employee relationship with the government.
However, some agencies and local government units (LGUs) provide certain benefits to these informal workers in their respective organizations.
Even the president may grant benefits to job order and contract of service workers. For instance, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the release of a one-time gratuity pay (Php 2,000 in 2016 and Php 3,000 in 2019) to recognize their hard work.
3. Generous pension benefits.
Equally important to the benefits you receive while in government service are the benefits you’ll be paid after you get out of it.
If you want to secure your finances in your retirement years (The compulsory retirement age in the government is 65), starting a career in the government is a wise move.
Government employees can be a member of both the GSIS and SSS to avail of their retirement programs. Private employees can join only in the SSS.
The Philippine government offers various packages—including pensions, gratuity pay, and terminal leave benefits—for retirees to choose from based on their age and length of service:
- Retirement under Republic Act 82914 – Five-year lump sum upon retirement and monthly pension after five years / Cash payment worth 18 times the monthly pension plus instant pension for life upon retirement;
- Retirement under Republic Act 6605 – Automatic monthly pension for life / Initial three-year lump sum plus monthly pension for life / Five-year lump sum plus monthly pension for life;
- Retirement under Republic Act 16166 – Gratuity pay and refund of GSIS premiums plus interest;
- Retirement under Presidential Decree 11467 – Basic monthly pension / Cash payment;
- Retirement under Republic Act 76998 – Combined SSS and GSIS contributions paid by the member to qualify for the retirement benefits from both agencies.
4. Personal and skills development.
A government career opens up various opportunities for continuous learning and development, which can be useful in and out of the workplace.
Working in the government exposes you to the different processes in its institutions, giving you a better understanding of how it works. This equips you with the knowledge that will come handy when you pursue development work for an international organization.
Depending on the agency and the job, government employees may be sent to different places in the Philippines or abroad to perform their duties or attend training.
Growing a professional network is easy in the government, too. Most jobs involve constant coordination with different individuals in both public and private sectors, some of which are key decision-makers and influential people in the country.
Working in the government also allows you to meet passionate workers who may inspire you, as well as excellent and experienced leaders who can be your mentors.
And if you’re wondering whether you can take a master’s degree while working in the government, it’s possible if your agency allows it. Some government employees earned their graduate degrees under a full-time study leave arrangement.
5. Making a difference as a public servant.
Government employees consider public service a privilege because it enables them to contribute directly to the country’s development while earning a living.
The fact that you’re making a difference in whatever field you’re in, regardless of how simple your role is, can be very rewarding.
For example, if you work in a national agency, you’re involved in developing policies that will impact the lives of many. If you teach in a public school, you have an important role in molding the future generation.
Disadvantages of working in the Philippine government.
As much as there are good reasons to work for the government, you should also consider its downsides to assess if this is the right career path for you.
1. Slow processes.
Bureaucracy and paperwork can be very frustrating, especially for new hires in the government and those who want to get things done fast.
In every decision and process—both minor and major ones—government employees have to follow a stringent formal approval process. Even simple requests, like refilling a printer ink or getting a fresh supply of pens and notebooks, require filling out several forms and getting signatures by multiple people.
You can’t cut corners, as the approval process is part of documenting accountability in any agency.
This explains the delay of government salary and benefits release in some agencies, and why transactions between the government and the public (like applications for driver’s license and overseas employment certificate) are usually slow and tedious.
2. Slow career progression.
If you want to move up the career ladder quickly, a government job is not for you.
Promotion is not as quick as you’d expect from a corporate job. An opportunity to move to a higher-level position comes up only when senior-level employees resign or retire. And that would take time because of their security of tenure.
Job order workers have it worse. Plantilla positions in the government are very limited. Unlike in private companies where probationary employees are regularized after six months, non-regular employees have to wait several years to get a plantilla position and qualify for government benefits.
3. The negative perception of government work culture.
Even if you’re the hardest-working and most dedicated employee around, people will unfairly judge you as lazy, incompetent, or corrupt just because you work in the government.
Incompetence and corruption—as well as office politics, bullying, bribery, and favoritism—happen not just in the government but also in the private sector. These could lead to low employee morale and demotivation.
On the flip side, there are honest, principled, and ethical government employees who are committed to providing excellent public service.
Still, the stigma about civil servants persists. If you can’t shake that off, then there’s no reason to pursue a job you won’t be proud of.
How to Apply for a Government Job in the Philippines: 6 Steps.
The government and private companies differ when it comes to recruitment and hiring processes. These can be confusing not just for fresh graduates but also for experienced private-sector employees.
The actual job application steps vary from one government agency and/or position to another. But to get an idea of how to apply for a government job, here are the procedures that first-time candidates can expect:
1. Check for vacant posts.
When applying for a job or internship in a private company, you can go to its office and leave your resume—even if you aren’t sure if they have job openings. Hoping to be considered for a certain position, you wait for the HR to call you for an interview.
That isn’t how things work in the government.
The first thing you must do to get a government job is to look for vacancies. There has to be an opening for your desired post in a government agency before you can apply for a job.
Government offices post their notice of vacant positions in various locations for a limited period—at least 15 days for LGUs and at least 10 days for national government agencies, state colleges, and universities, and GOCCs.
Notices of vacancies for government positions include details such as position title, place of assignment, salary grade, monthly salary, qualifications, job description, and deadline of submission.
2. Submit the application requirements.
Once you’ve found your job prospects in the government, you can start sending your application.
What are the requirements for civil service jobs?
Here are the commonly required documents for government job applications:
- Cover letter or application letter addressed to the director or HR manager stating the position you’re applying for;
- Accomplished Personal Data Sheet (CSC Form 212) with a recent passport-size photo;
- Comprehensive resume;
- Photocopy of Certificate of Eligibility and/or License ID/Board Exam Rating issued by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Supreme Court, or Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA);
- Photocopy of Transcript of Records;
- Photocopy of diploma (highest educational attainment i.e., elementary/secondary/vocational/college);
- Photocopy of certificate of employment/Service Record, if previously employed;
- Photocopy of certificates of training/seminars attended, if applicable;
- Copy of performance evaluation rating for one year, if previously employed in the government or private sector.
All the original documents must be ready anytime it’s requested.
If you’re applying for two or more government positions, you should submit one set of documents per position applied for.
How to submit government job requirements.
There are different ways to send your government job application:
- Personally submitting the documents to the agency’s HR Management Division;
- Through a courier service or regular postal mail to the address indicated on the job posting;
- Through email with all documents in PDF files attached and a proper subject line (e.g., Position Applied For – Plantilla Item Number – Applicant’s Full Name);
- Through your JobStreet.com, Kalibrr, or PhilJobNet account, if submitting through any of these platforms (Simply log in to your account and click the Apply Now button).
Make sure to submit your supporting documents on or before the deadline as stated on the job posting.
3. Undergo an initial interview and exam.
After submitting the requirements, your application will go through an initial assessment to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position.
HR will contact you via email or phone call about the result of your application evaluation. If you’re shortlisted, you’ll also be informed about your initial interview and exam schedule.
On the day of your interview and exam, bring a printed copy of your resume and the photocopy of your supporting documents.
Expect a panel of interviewers to ask you questions about your credentials and work experience. Officially called the Human Resource Merit Promotion and Selection Board (HRMPSB), this group consists of the Agency Head, the Division Chief, an HR officer, and two rank-and-file employees representing the employees’ union in the agency.
As for the examination, it depends on the position applied for. It’s usually an essay-type exam. But exams for positions that require technical knowledge are longer, more comprehensive, and more technical.
4. Show up for the final interview and final exam.
If you pass the screening of the selection board, you’ll be invited to a final interview with the representatives of the division where you’ll be assigned if you get hired. You might be required to take a final exam.
For some positions, no final interview or final exam is conducted.
5. Submit the pre-employment requirements.
After the final interviews with all the candidates, the HRMPSB conducts another round of evaluation, in which the top five candidates for the position are screened and deliberated.
From that pool, the Executive Director (ED) or the head of the agency selects the candidate who best fits the position. The hiring decision is based on a scorecard rating for each candidate per competency, including the exam, behavioral interview, and knowledge. The candidate with the highest total score is the one who gets selected for an appointment.
The agency’s HR admin officer will then prepare the appointment papers, which will go through review by different officials such as the Division Chief and Deputy ED. Lastly, the ED makes the final review and approve hiring by signing the appointment papers.
If you happen to be that lucky candidate, the admin officer will notify you through email about your appointment. You’ll also receive a list of requirements you need to submit to HR.
The required pre-employment documents usually include the following:
- Accomplished Personal Data Sheet and Work Experience Sheet (Both forms can be downloaded from the CSC website);
- Original authenticated Certificate of Civil Service Eligibility/License;
- Authenticated true copies of diploma and Transcript of Records;
- Certificates of training;
- Certificate of Employment from the previous employer;
- NBI Clearance;
- PSA-authenticated birth certificate;
- Marriage certificate, if applicable;
- Birth certificate of dependents, if applicable;
- 1 x 1 and/or 2 x 2 ID pictures;
- Medical Certificate accomplished by a government physician with all the medical exam results (blood test, urinalysis, chest X-ray, and drug test) and psychological test results attached.
Within 30 days from receiving a notice of appointment, appointees are expected to complete the pre-employment requirements and then report for work. Otherwise, the appointment may be canceled.
6. Sign your appointment papers.
Upon submitting all the documents, the HR will give you your appointment papers and ask you to sign them.
This means you’re formally hired. Congratulations!
On your first day of work, you’ll attend a new hire orientation that will brief you about the functions of the agency, office rules, and your duties, responsibilities, and benefits, among others.
When the employee orientation is over, you’ll be turned over to your assigned division.
Tips and Warnings.
- Take the civil service exam while you’re still in college or right after graduating. This helps you raise your chance of passing the examination because your knowledge is still fresh. Passing the civil service exam is an important requirement in getting hired for a permanent government position.
- Interview everyone you know who works in the government. Ask them how it’s like to work in their respective organizations, the perks they enjoy, and the challenges that come with their job. This way, you can make an informed choice of whether to join the government or not.
- Use job search platforms. The best way to find and apply for a government job is to do them online. It will save you time and money, as well as avoid commutes. The entire application process will be a lot easier and faster, cutting your waiting time to just two months.
- Submit complete requirements. Government agencies mean it when they say they will not process incomplete requirements. This makes sense—they won’t be able to assess your qualifications properly if you lack a document or two.
- Build an emergency fund before starting your civil service career. If you currently have a corporate job, don’t resign just yet. Save as much money as possible for your emergency fund—ideally at least three months’ worth of living expenses. This will help you tide over until you receive your first salary as a government employee (The paycheck release might get delayed, too).
Frequently Asked Questions.
- Rey, A. (2018). Gov’t employees ‘happier’ at work – Jobstreet study. Retrieved 6 April 2020, from https://www.rappler.com/nation/204693-government-employees-happiness-work-jobstreet-study-2018
- Filipino Want to Serve the Government. Retrieved 6 April 2020, from https://www.jobstreet.com.ph/en/cms/employer/filipinos-show-desire-serve-philippine-government-jobstreet-com-survey/
- Andolong, I. (2018). Budget chief urges job seekers to apply in government. Retrieved 6 April 2020, from https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/08/01/DBM-Benjamin-Diokno-government-jobs.html
- Retirement Under Republic Act 8291 (GSIS Act of 1997). Retrieved 6 April 2020, from https://www.gsis.gov.ph/active-members/benefits/retirement/retirement-under-republic-act-8291-gsis-act-of-1997/
- Retirement Under Republic Act 660 (Magic 87). Retrieved 6 April 2020, from https://www.gsis.gov.ph/active-members/benefits/retirement/retirement-under-republic-act-660/
- Retirement Under Republic Act 1616 (Take All Retirement Mode). Retrieved 6 April 2020, from https://www.gsis.gov.ph/active-members/benefits/retirement/republic-act-no-1616-2/
- Retirement Under Presidential Decree 1146. Retrieved 6 April 2020, from https://www.gsis.gov.ph/active-members/benefits/retirement/retirement-under-presidential-decree-1146-2/
- Retirement Under Republic Act 7699 (Portability Law). Retrieved 6 April 2020, from https://www.gsis.gov.ph/active-members/benefits/retirement/portability-law-ra-7699/