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Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to some of IRRI’s most commonly asked questions below.
If you cannot find the answer you need, do not hestiate to contact IRRI HRS.
Where do I report on my first day?
Please report to the HRS Department at the Headquarters or to the respective IRRI Representative at your IRRI Country Office location.
What is IRRI’s dress code?
For general office wear, all staff are expected to dress in smart casual clothing, unless the specific role or function demands otherwise, for example, appropriate laboratory or protective wear, or more formal attire for special events.
How soon does my health insurance take effect?
For internationally recruited employees, health insurance takes effect 5 days before your employment start date. If you are recruited nationally, your health insurance will take effect on your first day of work. It is your responsibility to provide updated information to HRS so that we can register you with the appropriate insurance plan.
When will I get my IRRI email address, user name and password?
ITS will make every attempt to have your email address active on your first day of work.
What is IRRI’s official business language?
IRRI recognizes and celebrates the wide range of languages which accompany our employee diversity. However, to ensure standardization of communication, English is the official business language in our 16 different country office locations, in addition to our Headquarters in the Philippines.
Who can I speak to if I have questions about my job?
Please speak to your Supervisor regarding employment queries. Your Focal Point can assist you to settle into your work environment, but you are strongly recommended to take the time with your Supervisor to discuss expectations, set goals and understand priorities in the first week of your orientation.
Who can I speak to if I have questions about my compensation and benefits?
Please direct all questions on pay and benefits to the Compensation and Benefits Unit in the Human Resource Services team.
What will my mailing address be at IRRI HQ?
IRRI’s address for incoming mail is:
IRRI DAPO Box 7777
Metro Manila Philippines
If you need a postal code for DAPO Box 7777, use 1301. Mail is collected every day, and distributed via the Mail Room.
What is the climate like in Los Banos?
Air temperatures in Los Banos range from 22 to 32° C with an average temperature of 27 °C. Humidity is high and the tropical climate roughly divides into a wet season, from June to November, and a dry season, from December to May. The first half of the dry season has predominantly cool air with winds coming from the northeast direction, whilst the latter half is relatively hot and dry. When the wet season starts, southwest winds dominate with approximately 260cm (over 100 inches) of rain falling per year.
The rainy season is also typhoon season throughout the Philippines. Typhoons are tropical cyclones (with winds of more than 117 kph, or 73 mph), which can hit Luzon between July and December. Destructive typhoons characterized by strong winds occur in the month of July; destructive typhoons with strong rains (>200 mm) occur in the last quarter of the year. Los Baños is occasionally in the path of a major typhoon.
What are my accommodation options if I am relocating to work at IRRI HQ on an international contract?
IRRI presently has 61 units on our International Staff Housing (ISH) compound in Los Banos which include apartments, row houses and detached houses. In addition, IRRI maintains 24 additional properties in the Forestry and Pleasant Village locations and a number of other properties within commuting distance to IRRI HQ. On joining, staff are offered the opportunity to rent IRRI properties if available. Should there be no available IRRI properties, IRRI will assist in the search for a new home.
Should I be concerned about pollution in the Philippines?
Los Baños is not contaminated by pollution. In fact, many Manila residents escape the city to experience the clean air in Los Baños at weekends.
Can I use my credit cards in Los Banos?
Credit cards are not widely accepted in Los Baños. However, all major stores in Manila, including supermarkets, accept VISA, Master Card, American Express and national credit cards.
Are there safe day care facilities close to HQ?
It is common practice in the Philippines to hire nannies or “yaya’s” to care for your children at home. For further information on this topic, please contact HRS.
IRRI also has a pre-school facility on the IRRI HQ campus called Rainbow Group. Rainbow is a voluntary cooperative coordinated by a Board made up of IRRI parents and provides a daycare service for people wanting to offer their children an international preschool experience. Please contact HRS for more information.
What schooling facilities are available for my children?
The Brent International School on the IRRI Campus offers tuition at primary level from Nursery to Grade 4. There are also a number of schools available within commuting distance of the IRRI HQ. Click here for further information.
What level of medical care is available in the Philippines?
In the Philippines, medical care is provided by both private and public hospitals. In Los Banos, the Los Baños Doctors Hospital and the HealthServ clinic are frequently used by expatriates for routine treatments. There are also several large hospitals in Manila, including Makati Medical Center, St. Luke’s, and Manila Doctors’ Hospital. The Asian Hospital and Medical Center located in Alabang are the nearest international standard hospitals and are located about an hour’s journey from IRRI HQ. There is an on-site clinic at IRRI HQ for emergency treatment and two ambulances are maintained for transportation to hospitals as needed. For further information, please see Medical Services.
What specific personal items should I bring to the Philippines?
In general, most items are available for sale in Los Banos, although specialist foods, products or clothing may require shopping trips to Manila. You are advised to bring books in languages other than English, Spanish and Filipino, specialist sports equipment, and at least 6 month’s worth of medication (if appropriate) and to refrain from bringing items easily damaged by humidity.
How do you get an E-pass?
An E-Pass transponder can be purchased for use at E-Pass booths on toll roads. For a non-IRRI car, E-Pass Tagkits are available at Total Alabang (Commerce Ave, Filinvest), the Shell station along the SLEX going south bound from Alabang, or at the concierge in the Alabang Town Center. For inquiries, please call 533 6825/5337234 and speak to Jane or Anne.
If you have been assigned an IRRI car, please contact Ms. Luzviminda Oleta at email@example.com or extension number 2564, who will assist you in obtaining the transponder.
What immunizations do I need?
The Philippines requires no special immunizations. However, some foreigners take the precautionary measure of having the family vaccinated against Tuberculosis (BCG vaccine), Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Rabies, Cholera and Tetanus. Malaria prophylaxis is not necessary in Los Baños, nor is vaccination against yellow fever. It is best to consult your family physician to update your immunizations before arrival. All of these vaccines are available in the Philippines, but it may be easier to access them in your home countries.
Country office questions
I am relocating to an IRRI Country Office. Who can answer my questions about the new location?
The HRS team at headquarters will work with your country office representative to ensure your questions are answered. For more information, please contact:
Country Office Advisor - Country Office Workplace Relations
Workplace Relations and Advisory Services
Tel: +63 (49) 536-2701 ext. 2363