Are law degrees equivalent to masteral degrees?
Are law degrees equivalent to masteral degrees for appointment to division chief (Salary Grade 24) positions in the civil service?
Due to the absence of a definitive answer to this question on the internet, I have opted to post one, with the hope that this would help clear up the issue.
You wouldn't believe the number of times I've encountered this question, and hardly anyone I asked, even our Human Resources Department (HRD), could give an objective answer, nor provide a valid legal basis.
Well, after some research, and a letter to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) itself, I believe the issue is now fully settled.
The key to answering this question lies in CSC Resolution No. 030962 dated September 12, 2003 otherwise known as the Revised Policies on Qualification Standards.
The relevant provision is Par. 9 which states:
Completion of the degrees of Bachelor of Laws and Doctor of Medicine from a CHED-recognized institution shall be considered appropriate education for appointment to division chief positions or positions requiring a master's degree the duties of which do not involve practice of profession covered by bar/board laws.
While this provision is already quite clear and unambiguous, some authorities, especially those more familiar with the old rules can't seem to accept the interpretation of this provision (not that it really needs any) that an underbar or underboard law or medical degree holder is automatically considered to possess the equivalent of a masteral degree for appointment to division chief positions. Even our own HRD didn't think so. So, to finally resolve this issue once and for all, a colleague and I took it upon ourselves to seek the opinion of the CSC.
And what did the CSC have to say?
CSC Opinion No. 35 dated January 27, 2006 unequivocally states:
A graduate of Bachelor of Laws may be considered for appointment to a division chief position in the corporation including to that which is located in the Legal Department, provided that the subject position does not involve the practice of profession covered by bar/board laws.
So, In a word, the answer to the question is a resounding YES. A law degree IS considered the equivalent of a masteral degree as far as appointments to division chief positions are concerned, and the bases are Par. 9 of CSC Resolution No. 030962 dated September 12, 2003, and CSC Opinion No. 35 dated January 27, 2006.
Can't put it any more clearer than that.