The Foreign Service Institute’s (FSI’s) Core Programs Section implemented the Basic
Foreign Service Staff Employees’ Course (BFSSEC) for this year from 07 to 25 March
2022, with 26 Foreign Service Staff Employees of the Department of Foreign Affairs
(DFA) completing the Course.

The Course consisted of a series of lectures that aimed to enhance the participants’ clerical, administrative, and technical skills. It officially commenced with a pre-training briefing on the asynchronous Gender Sensitivity Training (GST) requirement, and an orientation on the evaluation survey requirement. Topics included, among others, are orientation about DFA as an organization; work ethics; ICT systems; security management; records-keeping procedures in the Department; technical courses, such as drafting and writing written communications and a basic English grammar review; and sessions on basic protocol and social graces.

The Love of Country module was again included for the participants to appreciate and
learn more about the Filipino culture and to remind them of their duties as Filipinos.
For this year’s Course run, the class watched a series of videos on tourist spots in the
country (i.e., Fort Santiago, Baluarte de San Diego, Casa Manila); popular diving
destinations (i.e., Dumaguete, Tubbataha Reef), Sulu Pearl Diving, and the Piña Seda
Exhibition, and later were divided into smaller groups to discuss their insights and
answers to a set of guide questions. The participants gathered in the plenary session
afterwards for a simple class sharing.

The Course was fully implemented online with very minimal changes. This setup also
made it possible to accommodate participants and resource persons alike who are
currently posted abroad.

Despite the expected challenges of online setups, the Course still garnered highly positive feedback from the participants. Thus, the program was able to contribute to fulfilling one of DFA’s strategic goals, which is to support and strengthen the Department’s institutional capacity to perform its mandate.