The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) recently conducted a three-week course on Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN). The Course was held from 08 to 27 May 2019 and attended by 18 personnel from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

ATN is a pillar of Philippine foreign policy. FSI offers the course twice a year to support the DFA’s unwavering commitment to provide a responsive and efficient service for the protection and promotion of the interests and welfare of Filipino overseas.

FSI and DFA have both recognized the value of the Course to prepare Department personnel in their deployment as ATN officers to Philippine Foreign Service Posts.

The Course, organized by the Carlos P. Romulo School of Diplomacy (CPRSD), covered the mandates, core functions, and procedures, special programs, and support systems in ATN work within the Department and its partner agencies; the laws and regulations pertinent to sexual harassment cases, human trafficking, and illegal recruitment; medical repatriation; and stress management.

Representatives from other government agencies concerned with the welfare of overseas Filipino workers, such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), contributed to the discussions of ATN Mechanisms in Foreign Service Posts.  

Case studies and workshops on intake interviewing and counseling, including an interactive session with the officers from the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA), gave the participants a wider perspective on the role of foreign service personnel in the effective delivery of ATN services and exposed the participants to actual pressing cases normally encountered by ATN officers.

Office of the Undersecretary from Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA) Executive Director, Enrico T. Fos, fields questions after his lecture on Special Skills
ATN participants during a group exercise on understanding crisis alert levels