The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) held the closing ceremony of the Foreign Service Officers’ Cadetship Course (FSOCC) Batch XXIX on 06 July 2023 at the Carlos P. Romulo Library, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Pasay City. The event was attended by Secretary for Foreign Affairs Enrique A. Manalo, FSI Board member and Development Academy of the Philippines President and CEO Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr., FSI Director-General Ma. Teresita C. Daza, DFA Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries, and FSI officials.

Secretary for Foreign Affairs Manalo commended the new Foreign Service Officers’ (FSOs) successful completion of the cadetship program. He emphasized the importance of keeping the national interest in carrying out their work, and of cherishing interactions and opportunities to learn from their senior officers and foreign service corps colleagues. Secretary Manalo also mentioned the Department’s rich history and tradition of selfless service, and urged the new FSOs to forge ahead with this in mind to serve the country and the Filipino people with patriotism, professionalism, integrity, and excellence. He reminded them that “nothing less is demanded in promoting the Philippine interest on the global stage, and in helping build a secure and prosperous future for our nation.”

FSI Director-General Daza enjoined Batch Layág to serve as “torchbearers” who will contribute to the Department’s mission, and usher improvements to establish an inclusive and forward-looking DFA that is representative of its values and aspirations. Director-General Daza also reminded them that the country “needs diplomats who possess not only intellectual acuity, but more importantly, empathetic hearts and working hands.”

Batch XXIX-Layág with FSI Director General Daza (front row, center), FSI Board Member Atty. Caronan (front row, 9th from L-R), DFA Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries, FSI officials, and other guests.

As a response, Mr. Antonio Emmanuel R. Miranda delivered a speech on behalf of Batch XXIX, sharing that the cadetship program has further refined their view of diplomacy, and they have learned to bridge theory and realities on the ground, balance policy continuity with creativity towards change, and embody empathic leadership.

Mr. Miranda also explained that their batch name “Layág” illustrates not only their bond while navigating the complex domain of the foreign service, but also their fervor to advance and safeguard the Philippines’ maritime interests in the international arena.

The FSOCC is a six-month training program designed to introduce the newly-commissioned FSOs to the different aspects of the Philippine foreign service and prepare them to perform their functions and carry out their duties and responsibilities following the defined goals and objectives of the DFA. The Course included modules in international relations, Philippine history and culture, economic, public, and consular diplomacy, protocol and diplomatic decorum, national security, and assistance-to-nationals, among others.