Lyca Mae Sedigo, a fresh Social Work graduate from the Western Mindanao State University in 2019, did not expect to be working right away for a government office…but she did with the help of the Government Internship Program (GIP)..
She recalls hearing about the program from acquaintances who advised her to apply at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 which is the agency responsible for implementing the program.
Along with 229 other fresh grads, Lyca attended the GIP orientation and signing of Internship Agreement on February 3, 2020 at Centro Latino Paseo Del Mar, Zamboanga City.
At the time, the DOLE Zamboanga City Field Office led the activity. City Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar and Vice Mayor Atty. Rommel “Meng” Agan were in attendance.
“We were told that interns will render service in either a national or local government agency for three months where we will earn P316.00, the existing daily minimum wage in the region”, Lyca recollects.
She was assigned to the Office of the City Prosecutor under the Department of Justice located at the Justice Hall Building, Sta. Barbara Road, Zamboanga City.
Through her internship, Lyca was able to perform court frontline work such as organizing case records, preparation of subpoenas, encoding of resolutions and releasing of court orders.
A month later, a COVID-19 outbreak was declared and city officials imposed Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to contain the spread of the virus. The ECQ restricted movement of people within the area with exception if one is a health worker or frontliner. Due to this, the GIP implementation in ECQ and Modified ECQ areas was deferred.
When ECQ & MECQ, Lyca and other interns reported back to their assigned offices.
It came as a surprise that on August 4, 2020, Lyca was hired as a regular employee with the position of Administrative Aide IV in the office where she was assigned.
“I am now responsible for receiving and verifying inquest and cases. I assist walk-in clients, answer inquiries on cases filed against them and prepare reports to be submitted to the Office of the Regional Prosecutor,” Lyca said.
She shared that her three-month internship experience served as a stepping stone. It helped hone her skills which are valuable to the job.
“Thankful po ako sa DOLE, through [GIP] natulungan ko po ang family ko, tulad na lang po ng kusina namin, napaayos ko po. Naka-gain po talaga ako ng experience during the internship na naapply ko po talaga ngayon.”
Atty. Ricardo G. Cabaron, the City Prosecutor and Lyca’s immediate supervisor, shared that through the GIP, interns are given the chance to eventually join the office as a regular employee.
“Per experience, I made it a policy that I will only take employees in the vacant positions most preferably those who passed the internship program,” said Atty. G. Cabaron.
He explained that the internship period serves as a window for them to observe the intern’s work habits and attitude, assess their capacities and see if they can blend in the milieu as they require the interns to perform and hopefully by their responsibility, they realize the enormous demand of work in the office.
Asked what he can say about DOLE’s GIP, he candidly answered, “Provide us more GIPs.”
He shared that the GIP is a good training ground for interns before being absorbed in the government service and a good opportunity to acquire experience.
“She [Lyca] is lucky because she joined the office at the time of the pandemic. There are so many jobless people nowadays particularly in the private sector,” shared Atty. Cabaron.
Lyca advised young workers, who are searching for jobs, not to be shy and inquire at DOLE for its programs and services.
“Advise ko is to try, despite the challenges. If you are a fresh graduate, wag mahiyang sumubok kasi yun yung tutulong sayo umangat para marating kung ano ang gusto mo,” Lyca concluded.
About DOLE’s Government Internship Program
The GIP is a component of KABATAAN 2000 under Executive Order (EO) no. 139 s. 1993, and DOLE Administrative Order No. 260-15, which aims to provide young workers, particularly the poor/indigent and young workers, opportunity to demonstrate their talents and skills in the field of public service with the ultimate objective of attracting the best and the brightest who want to pursue a career in government service, particularly in the fields and disciplines related to labor and employment. END