The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) conducted the second and last batch of the Basic Foreign Service Staff Officers’ Course (BFSSOC) for 2022 from 03 to 21 October. BFSSOC is specifically designed for the Foreign Service Staff Officers (FSSOs) of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to equip them with the essential tools and skills needed in the performance of Foreign Service duties and of their individual specialized responsibilities.

Sixteen (16) personnel participated in BFSSOC Batch 2-2022, which was conducted through synchronous sessions via Zoom. Ten (10) participants were from the Home Office, five (5) from the Foreign Service Posts in Brasilia, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and one (1) from DFA Mindanao.

The DFA’s ability to fulfill its mandate hinges on the knowledge and skills of its personnel, including FSSOs, who perform substantive, technical, or specialized functions at Posts, and handle supervisory, coordination, or organizational tasks in the Home Office. Considering the demands and the array of tasks of an FSSO, the Institute deems BFSSOC as a basic requirement for all FSSOs.

BFSSOC Batch 2-2022 highlighted the theoretical and practical aspects of the FSSOs’ job, both in the Home Office and at Posts. The Resource Persons discussed the evolution of the Philippine Foreign Policy, introduced the participants to the mandate and structure of the DFA, and emphasized the roles of FSSOs in managing the Department’s finances, properties, records, and communication systems.

Participants engaged in workshops to enhance their skills in writing effective memoranda and letters, and to develop their leadership and management competencies. The Course also included video presentations and virtual tours that showcased Philippine heritage and culture.

BFSSOC Batch 2-2022 employed live Q&A and interactive online activities through Google Workspace, Canva, and Zoom polls. Breakout sessions and group activities were also conducted to maximize learning for all participants.

Mr. Ricky Bolanio of the DFA’s Office of Assets Management and Support Services discusses the various Google Workspace applications.
Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy Deputy Assistant Secretary Gonaranao Musor explains the difference between political and economic reports.
BFSSOC participants with Human Resources Management Office Deputy Assistant Secretary Mersole Mellejor (first row, first tile).