Sunday, October 9, 2011

Personal Interests in Work are Travels

It may be obvious that I applied for a job in DSWD's KALAHI-CIDSS for the following reasons:
a. higher pay
b. longer term
c. new experience
d. attractive addition to my resume

Higher Pay

I actually mean higher net pay. Withholding taxes on my salary in my previous employer, which was based on purely compensation income, hurt me so bad. As I am single and my total professional fee is kinda large that my taxable income falls under the 30% withholding rate, a one-third cut from my pay is significantly affectively huge. In my current work with DSWD's project, my pay is subject to a profession tax of 10% plus 3% final tax; this is a 50% cut from my prior periods' withholing taxes. Indeed, it affords me a sigh of relief. My present pay though is a bit lower than before, as it is an entry rate with a promise of increase upon contract renewal, but the total net pay is much higher.

Longer Term

The project I am presently in is programmed to last for 5 years. And as far as I can tell, most projects has the option of 2-year extension. So this means that I have work or I can linger for the rest of the project life. While the project I just resigned is closing this November 2011, with a bleak assurance of 1-year extension. There is a proposed followup project but the date of start is yet unknown. I really do love working there with my previous employer, notwithstanding the withholding taxes issue. And while waiting for the good news of next phase, I guess I can live and work with DSWD at a comparable rate.

New Experience

The project is about community empowerment, based on the CDD (community driven development) principle. My first project was somewhat community based also but not as grounded, wide and varied as this. It was more of natural resources management, basically coastal and upland resources. While this project I am working now is about everything the community prioritizes as needs. Moreover, it covers many areas in luzon and visayas. This is definitely a new experience.

Attractive Addition to Resume

The fact that the funder is MCC, the employment record is and would be attractive. This is an attractive experience to quote in my resume. Been with USAID project immediately prior to this project, and to be working with MCC is another privilege.

So, what is hidden therefore?
What is implicit in my intention of transferring to KC-MCC is the incidental and compulsory travels. I love traveling around the Philippine archipelago. I missed my years with an ADB project implemented by the DAR where I was able to reach as far north as Aparri in Cagayan Valley and as far south as Bongao in Tawi-tawi.

Now with DSWD's KC project, I expect to travel around Luzon and Visayas. I am thrilled to think of reaching the whole of north luzon provinces, such as Kalinga, Apayao, Benguet, and Mountain Province. Also in south luzon, like the islands of Masbate, Marinduque and Romblon. In visayas, new areas would lead me to Negros Oriental, Guimaras, and Siquijor. All these places are new to me.

My travels with KC started with Quezon Province and then to various workshops around the country. Been to Camiguin for MFA training in regions 10 & CARAGA, to Bohol for another training in regions 5, 6 and 7, to Ormoc for MFA training in region 8, to Zamboanga for another training in regions 9, 11 and 12, and to Iloilo City for the last set of MFA training in region 6.

At the Meralco Management & Leadership Development Center (MMLDC)



At Estrella de Mendoza Resort at Laiya, San Juan, Batangas

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