The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) conducted the Administrative Officers’ Course (AOC) from 14 to 25 June 2021. The AOC, specifically tailored for future and current Administrative Officers (AOs) of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), intends to address the need to retool and re-emphasize administrative knowledge and skills within the Department’s administrative workforce.
Thirty-one (31) personnel participated in the AOC, which was conducted through synchronous sessions via Google Meet and Zoom. Eleven (11) participants were from the Home Office while 19 were from the Department’s Consular Offices in Antipolo, Baguio, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Dasmariñas, Dumaguete, Malolos, Mindanao, NCR Northeast, Pampanga, Paniqui, Puerto Princesa, San Nicolas, San Pablo, Santiago, Tacloban, Tagum, and Tuguegarao. One (1) participant from Jakarta PE also joined the Course.
Personnel designated as AOs, both in the Home Office and at Posts, are expected to provide well-rounded support and guidance in areas covering personnel administration, budget preparation and control, and general services. They must possess skills such as simple manpower planning, procurement, maintenance and disposition of supplies, materials and equipment, maintenance of records, review of financial disbursements and collection reports, as well as the planning and management of safety and security measures in the workplace.
The AOC aims to teach and train targeted personnel of the DFA on the duties and responsibilities which entail administrative work in the Home Office and at Post. It also equips them with the general and specific knowledge on administrative policies and rules, decision making, problem solving, effective human relations, and communication.
AOC’s Resource Persons introduced the participants to the structures of the DFA and the Foreign Service Posts, the DFA rules and procedures in relation to its human resources, work ethics, appointment, termination, and supervision of honorary consuls, and gender sensitivity. Assets management, procurement methods, property maintenance, records and communication, project and events management, and budget planning and preparation were discussed in the second week of the Course.
Executive Director Mersole J. Mellejor, Officer-in-Charge of the Department’s Human Human Resources Management Office, called the AOs “jack of all trades” and reminded the participants that “it is all about public service and to be a good Administrative Officer, one has to be certainly a cut above the rest.”
The AOC employed live Q&A and interactive online activities though Mentimeter, Kahoot, and Jamboard. Breakout sessions and group presentations were also conducted to maximize learning for all participants.