Frequently Asked Questions

Professional and Technical Programs

1. Who are qualified to participate in the professional and technical training programs?

Officers and staff of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) who hold regular appointments and are considered members of the Philippine foreign service corps may participate in any course offerings of the Professional and Technical Programs Section. They should be properly and officially endorsed by the Office of Personnel and Administrative Services (OPAS) of the DFA.

2. Are professional and technical programs open to employees from the private sector?

Professional and technical programs, based on the charter of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), are conducted only for the members of the Philippine foreign service corps. The programs, therefore, are not open for participation by any official/employee from the private sector, unless he/she is being appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines to a Philippine diplomatic position.

3. How about the officers and staff from other government agencies? Are they allowed to participate?

The following government agencies, with attached services in the foreign service, may participate in any professional and technical programs (except in finance officers courses and administrative officers courses): Department of Tourism, Department of National Defense, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Labor and Employment. At the preparation stage of the training programs, a certain number of slots are already identified for specific government agencies that have attached services in the foreign service. An invitation to participate is then extended to these agencies for them to officially nominate their officers and staff to the identified training program.


Special Programs

1. Who are qualified to participate in the Protocol, Social Graces and Etiquette Training Program?

This training program is open only to employees and personnel of the DFA and other government agencies. This is not available to employees from private companies or corporations.

2. Is the Seminar on Protocol and Social Graces a regular program offering of the FSI?

No. This is a special training program which the FSI organizes and conducts upon the request of government agencies. The requesting organization is required to send a letter of request addressed to the FSI Director-General.

3. Would there be costs involved in the conduct of the Seminar on Protocol, Social Graces and Etiquette?

Yes. The honoraria for the resource persons and management and organizing committee, as well as their transportation expenses, meals and accommodations, if needed, shall be shouldered by the requesting agency. This, being a special request, equates additional workload.

4. Where is the training program conducted?

The FSI prefers that requested seminars are conducted in its training facilities. However, other venues outside the FSI premises may also be chosen provided the arrangements for the venue are handled by the requesting agency and prior approval is granted by the FSI.

5. Who are the resource persons for the training program?

The resource persons, mostly from DFA and the private sector, are practitioners and experts in their particular topics.

6. Are training materials included in the total cost to conduct the course?

The requesting agency provides the supplies and materials and shoulders the costs needed for photocopying services.


Language Programs

1. How is the language course structured and how long does one language course run?

At present, the FSI runs a language course in the basic levels—Levels I, II, and III. Each level runs for 3 1/2 months or 90 hours, 2 sessions a week or 3 hours per session.

2. If in the middle of a course, a participant becomes ill or has to undertake an official trip (say, for a month, thus incurring the maximum number of absences), will he/she be marked absent and eventually fail the course?

A participant is marked excused from classes so long as he/she submits the documents supporting and justifying the illness or trip (i.e., medical certificate or approved travel order). His/her passing or failing the course greatly depends on his/her performance in exercises and examinations.

3. After completing Level I, a participant has to defer Level II because of personal reasons or unmanageable workload. Can he/she be allowed to enroll in Level II in the following year?

Yes, as long as he/she undertakes a self-review of Level I, in preparation for Level II, and his/her participation is duly endorsed by his/her office.