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Monday, July 2

Working At The Senate


As the Senate session starts this month, I have been thinking and re-thinking if it's ok to post my previous work. Right after college, my friends and classmates started job-hunting. We gave out application letters and resume to marketing companies and ad agencies. I've always dream of working for a big ad agency as a copywriter (one who thinks, drafts the storyboard) or an account executive (handling the agencies' accounts). Our professors in UST made quite an impression on me. They work in the agency on mornings and come to class after their office work. They teach well and also get some ideas from us, their students. One time, our professor instructed us to make a copy for a certain brand of car. I did a nice one. After few weeks, it's on tv but we never got paid for it, I bet my professor was, he he. We made lots of storyboards, public relations and marketing strategies even the actual tv commercial. We even had it aired over Channel 9 as part of our thesis, thanks to my Ninang who gladly worked things out at the network. I was so excited doing these things in school. So I set my eyes working for an ad agency...


Oh, I'm veering away from my topic. I never got the chance to work for one, the agency. Instead I was hired as a writer/legislative staff to a newly-elected Senator. My good friend asked me to go with her, I got interviewed and got hired on the same day. Wow, I don't even have any backers. I'm just a walk-in applicant. That's the beginning of my very colorful career, working in the Philippine Senate. What could be a better job for a newly-grad...

As I started working, I learn the ropes little by little with the help of my colleagues who would become my wonderful friends as the years went by.

To give my readers an idea, here's the office set-up. Each Senator can get a staff of 20-50 employees. If the Senator gets a Committee Chairmanship, he can still add more staff. They are all in the Senate payroll, government pays for them (not from their personal pockets). In our office, we have the Legislative Group-composed of legal secretary, researchers, lawyers, speechwriters. They are the ones who serve as back-staff to our boss in the Session Hall or during committee hearings.

The Political Group/Constituency Unit headed by a Political Officer/ Constituency Officer- those who handle and facilitate numerous requests from walk-in constituents, political leaders, government officials (mayors, governors, congressmen. brgy.captains, etc). This group also includes the Project Officer. The one who handles the Senator's projects, the most sought after staff in the office.

We also have the Media Group/PR Group composed of press release writers, Public Relations Officer, and a secretary. They write press releases, give it to the media reporters covering the Senate, fax them to radio and tv stations. They arrange for the Senator's press conferences. They make sure that their press releases will be printed on the papers the next day. They initiate tv and radio interviews. The more publicity, the better.

The Admin Group includes the office accountant, personnel officer and another secretary. The Senator also has an Executive Secretary and Appoinment Secretaries, aside from the Executive Assistant. Of course the office has a Chief of Staff (usually related to the boss).

By the way, each Senator has a monthly allowance of P2 million for the staff salaries, travels, office rentals, newspaper/magazine subscriptions, office supplies/equipment, food allowance, representation, etc. and the so-called MOOE (maintenance and other operating expenses). Plus they each have a P200 million fund for their priority projects which they will identify, wink here.

This would be the first part. So many things to share with you guys...


4 comments:

Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Rowena. You have a very interesting career. I'm sure it's a good venue to meet interesting people and keep abreast to the latest happenings in our country.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for the very kind remarks. I shall be back for more. Take care!

rowena said...

hi rachel, thanks a lot for taking time to visit this site. am honored. been reading yours, i feel like i know you already. I would like to be your friend...

HiPnCooLMoMMa said...

wow interesting career, don't you miss it now that you're a SATH mom?

I'm a thomasian too...wala lang, thought of sharing this info with you =)

rowena said...

hi girlie,
thanks for visiting my site. i really miss my work, that's why im going back but not as a regular staff, will do consultancy work again. o di ba, same school pa tayo, hope to meet you soon...