Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Profile of Government Archivists in Metro Manila

Researcher: JOCELYN P. BASA

Course: Master in Library and Information Science

School: University of the Philippines, Quezon City

Subject Area: Archivists

Year of Graduation: 2005


As any organization, archives cannot exist without the appropriate staff. The size and type of personnel depend on the size of the institution and the archival program. Those seeking archives positions should be competitive enough not only to comply with the minimum standards but to surpass these.

Statement of the Problem

This study focused on people working in government archives. It aimed to construct a profile by looking into government archivists in Metro Manila with regard to the following aspects: educational background, work experience, task performed, and qualification requirements of their position as set by their institutions.


There were eight (8) institutions surveyed namely: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), House of Representatives (HOR), Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Philippine Normal University (PNU), Records Management and Archives Office (RMAO), Senate of the Philippines and the University of the Philippines (UP).


Educational requirements of archives personnel have not been specific on what degree should applicant possess before they apply. Government archives hire archivists who are graduates of any course without the necessary archives training and experience. Qualification standards set by the Civil Service Commission are being implemented or used by the institutions. Otherwise, they use a different position title.


The study concluded that: position titles/designations of archives personnel depend on the kind of institution the archives is under; staff with permanent appointment status have second level eligibility; form of training readily available is informal; staff are sent to attend short courses, seminar-workshops, etc. on official time since formal education cannot normally be availed during office hours; informal training programs on archives offered locally and abroad seem appropriate to the needs of government archives/archivists in the performance of their duties; and necessary skills are acquired through in-service training programs. The qualification standards being used by government archives can be modified eventually when a formal degree on archival studies will be available locally. It was noted that certain government agencies were very protective of their institutions. No information was given for questions the administration decided were confidential with respect to their reputation as an archives office. They did not want to give information that may result in the conclusion that their personnel are unqualified or do not possess the ideal qualifications. It is also desired that offering a formal degree in archives studies be pushed through to equip future archivists with the necessary archival principles and skills prior to employment. In the absence of a degree, non-formal training could be considered to modify the qualification requirements for hiring archivists in the government. It is the desire of the author that institutions in the future are more cooperative in similar studies since the study only wants to help find ways to improve the profession.

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