Press Release
October 14, 2010


In today's Finance Committee hearing on the Department of Foreign Affair's (DFA) 2011 budget, Senator Edgardo J. Angara proposed the creation of a new body tasked to oversee foreign service training in order to raise the country's level of diplomacy.

"We need a dedicated core to concentrate on the professional development of the people who are going into foreign service instead of the ad hoc arrangement we have now," he stated.

To help fund the said training, Angara brought up two well-endowed government agencies which he said "may have already outlived their usefulness."

"Here we have two almost idle institutions in this country with tremendous amounts of assets: the Development Academy of the Philippines and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). They are supposed to be think tanks for government. I am a great consumer of 'think pieces', yet I have never come across one of their studies. So instead, we can channel their manpower and assets into training our foreign service officers," he said.

Angara, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, suggested the merging of these agencies' assets, to be able to upgrade the Foreign Service Institute and create a diplomatic training school similar to those of other countries.

"There are millions of pesos sitting idly here. Using the combined funding of these two agencies, we can put up an institution similar to the Escuela Diplomatica in Madrid or the Civil Service Academy in Singapore," he said.

As vice chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Angara explained the rationale behind the creation of the said institutions.

"Training is always a good investment. I am especially concerned about the professional development of the DFA people because they are tasked with maintaining good relations with other nations. They represent the Philippines as a nation and they should be equipped with proper training, knowledge and skills in international relations and diplomacy," explained Angara.

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