(Metro Manila, Philippines) One of the keys to success is to utilize one’s potential when presented with such opportunities.

This is evident to four (4) former trainees of the Government Internship Program (GIP) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) who are now Plantilla (regular) employees in Parañaque City Hall.

Rayma C. Solano, Maria Christina A. Duka, Maria Christina F. Perez, and Marc Arcen T. De Leon are among the four GIPs who were assigned to the City Government of Parañaque through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO).

(L-R) Mr. Henry Leonardo (Parañaque City PESO Manager), Ms. Maria Christine Duka (Administrative Aide III), Ms. Maria Christina Perez (Administrative Aide VI), Mr. Marc Arcen De Leon (Nurse Training Specialist), Ms. Amie Martin (Assistant PESO Manager), Ms. Erika Escalada (LEO II, DOLE-NCR MUNTAPARLAS Field Office)

Solano, a 28-year-old Office Management graduate, started as a Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) beneficiary at McDonald’s. Upon completing the program and graduating from college, he applied as a GIP trainee in DOLE.

With a clear vision, he believed that applying to the program is a perfect way for him to enter the government sector.

As luck would have it, he was deployed in Parañaque City Hall and rendered his 6-month internship.

Solano shared that his experience as GIP was fruitful as he was able to utilize the skills that he had learned when he was absorbed last 2018 as an Administrative Aide III.

Great opportunity didn’t stop coming for a hard-working employee like him because he was promoted to an Administrative Assistant position, two years after he was absorbed into the admin department.

“Para sa akin kasi public service is always the best kasi nakakatulong ako sa tao and nakakatulong ka throughout the city. Good communication skills and proper training [ang naging impact sa’kin]. I gained a lot of friends and [utilized my social skills],” Solano said.

Another SPES beneficiary who eventually became a GIP beneficiary is Maria Christina A. Duka. She took the internship program for 6 months from October to December 2018 at the same office.

Afterward, she was immediately absorbed upon the completion of her GIP contract as an Administrative Aide III in Parañaque City Hall.

Duka said that the skills she gained as an assessor during her SPES days led her over to a GIP placement, following her promotion.

“Wala akong naging [struggle] kasi yung pinaka-[supervisor] po namin, ‘pag nagtuturo siya step by step talaga. Sa computer [nakuha ko yung skills] kasi hindi ako masyadong [bihasa] sa Excel. Tapos ngayon, puro Excel kasi ‘yung gamit namin. And nag fi-field din kami, nagsusukat kami ng mga lupa, at nag su-survey,” shared Duka.

She expressed that on top of her performance and guidance from her superiors, she’d practiced diligent work to the point that she waited for her seniors to leave the office before she did the same—one of her secrets to success.

She also mentioned that her nature of work now as a regular employee is kind of challenging, especially when they are in the field.

However, Duka always found her work fulfilling and motivating when people she encountered and offered free services for surveying houses and lands appreciated her work.

Meanwhile, Maria Christina F. Perez, 30 years old, who also started as a GIP trainee in the Parañaque City Hall, has fortunately been promoted to Administrative Aide VI.

Now, she’s been working in the government for 5 years.

Perez shared that she learned a lot of experience when she was just a GIP back then, specifically in accomplishing computer-related tasks.

“Noong GIP ako, nag e-encoding lang po tapos filing [ang task ko]. Nahasa ko skills ko as GIP, [lalo na] sa Excel, sa mga worksheet…kasi di naman talaga ako computer literate, although IT naman po ako noon,” shared Perez.

Moreover, she expressed how happy she was after her perseverance and hard work had finally paid off.

“Ngayon masaya na talaga ako kasi gusto ko talaga pumasok [sa gobyerno]. Nag-persevere po talaga ako na makapasok po dito,” she said.

Lastly, Marc Arcen T. De Leon, a 29-year-old who set forth as a GIP last May 2018 and finished his 6-month contract, was also grateful for where he was right now.

As a BS Nursing graduate, he volunteered in the Parañaque City Hall before he became absorbed as a Nurse IV. Right after this, he was promoted as Nurse Training Specialist where he handles calls for emergencies and trains people in Basic Life Support and First Aid Training.

On top of the technical skills that he practices as a nursing graduate, he also learned how to be proficient in administrative tasks. Despite doing more paperwork, De Leon said that he still enjoys doing so.

“Nalaman ko ‘yung mga paperworks at ‘yung ikot sa kung sino pipirma, tapos ‘yung gagawa ng letters, kung paano mag-endorse ng letters, ‘yung format, tapos kung ano ‘yung mga sasabihin, and of course ‘yung mga skills ko as nurse na-enhance din kasi nagha-handle din kami ng mga patients bukod sa paperworks,” De Leon said.

He also shared that he still volunteers in the health department since he wanted to practice technical skills and keep them sharper due to his background as a nurse.

Knowing the essence of knowledge sharing, some of them offered their keys and secrets of success to incoming interns who also wished to apply for government service.

“Ang masasabi ko lang para sa mga mag a-apply is always work hard and do your best every day. Always give your 100 percent sa trabaho. Tapos kung may mga hindi kayo alam, pwede po kayo magtanong,” said De Leon to interns.

“Gawin mo ‘yung trabaho mo kahit ‘di inuutos sa iyo. Kapag may nakikita kang nahihirapan sa trabaho nila, pwede mo naman turuan kung ano natutunan mo,” Duka shared, highlighting one’s initiative at work.

Solano, Duka, Perez, and De Leon are among the beneficiaries of the labor department’s Government Internship Program who have been given a wide-open opportunity to serve the public after seeing their determination and full potential at work.

END / Ericka Escalada