The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) conducted the Basic Foreign Service Staff Employees’ Course (BFSSEC) from 14 to 25 August 2023. BFSSEC is specifically designed for the Foreign Service Staff Employees (FSSEs) of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to equip them with the basic knowledge and communication skills required of their positions to enable them to perform their functions efficiently.

Thirty (30) personnel participated in BFSSEC, which was conducted through synchronous sessions via Zoom. Twenty-three (23) participants were from the Home Office and Consular Offices, while seven (7) were from the Foreign Service Posts in Doha, Kuala Lumpur, Riyadh, Shanghai, and Toronto.

Resource persons from the DFA, other government agencies, and the academe discussed the mandate and structure of the DFA, pillars of Philippine Foreign Policy, best practices in diplomatic protocol and social graces, records-keeping procedures in the Department, and work ethics expected of public officials and employees. Participants also engaged in various activities and workshops to develop their verbal and written communication skills. BFSSEC employed live Q&A and utilized interactive online platforms such as Kahoot!, Canva, and Zoom breakout rooms to maximize learning for all participants.

Photo of BFSSEC participants with Mr. Ronald Joves (first row, first tile), Acting Director of DFA-HRMO’s Honorary Consuls and Service Attachés Division.

Mr. Rommel Romato (highlighted tile), Chargé d’Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, explains the elements and characteristics of an effective memo.