Service, Teamwork, Results, Integrity, Dignity, Encouragement, and Spirituality.
Undersecretary Linglingay F. Lacanlale reminded Foreign Service Officers Cadetship Course (FSOCC) Batch Salinlahi of the seven values that should define the work that they would do as full-fledged Foreign Service Officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs during the closing ceremony of the six-month FSOCC on 13 March 2015 at the Carlos P. Romulo School of Diplomacy, Foreign Service Institute.
The event earmarks their transition into the work and life of a Foreign Service Officer. The 24 graduates of the FSOCC completed 15 modules on Philippine foreign service, Philippine society and culture, foreign policy, national security, economic diplomacy, assistance-to-nationals, diplomatic and consular practice skills, environmental diplomacy, leadership and management, and administration (personnel and finance).
The program is mandated under the Foreign Service Act (Republic Act 7157), which requires FSOs to go through intensive classroom instruction, skills training, and field exposure to master the craft of consular and diplomatic work.
Batch Salinlahi, the 21st batch, benefited from the Institute’s training innovations this year. The Diplomat’s Hour, a special segment integrated in the FSOCC, introduced the cadets to distinguished members of the Philippine foreign service. The cadets obtained first-hand advice on the challenges they would face as they progressed in their careers as Foreign Service Officers, and learned from the experiences and wisdom of former and current officials of the Department. Several sessions of The Diplomat’s Hour were held via web conference with career diplomats still serving their tours of duty at Post.
During the course of the FSOCC, Batch Salinlahi presented and defended their policy papers on various foreign policy issues faced by the Department and met the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to share their foreign policy recommendations. The cadets likewise successfully organized high-level fora with Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno and Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio (in partnership with the Institute and DFA Office of Legal Affairs). The cadets also served as APEC Liaison Officers and learned from junior diplomats from the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and Lao PDR the best practices of their respective Ministries.
The new Foreign Service Officers are now poised to reach beyond their grasp and embrace the challenges of the Philippine foreign service.