E.O. No. 292, Administrative Code of 1987 Book IV Title I – Foreign Service
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 292
INSTITUTING THE “ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1987″
The Executive Branch
Section 1. Declaration of Policy. – The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other states the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination.
Section 2. Mandate. – The Department shall be the lead agency that shall advise and assist the President in planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and evaluating the total national effort in the field of foreign relations.
Section 3. Powers and Functions. – To carry out its mandate and accomplish its mission, the Department shall:
(1) Conduct the country’s foreign relations;
(2) Maintain and develop the country’s representation with foreign governments;
(3) Conduct Philippine representation in the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and other international and regional organizations;
(4) Serve as the channel for matters involving foreign relations, including official communications to and from the Republic of the Philippines;
(5) Negotiate treaties and other agreements pursuant to instructions of the President, and in coordination with other government agencies;
(6) Promote trade, investments, tourism and other economic relations with other countries in cooperation with other government agencies;
(7) Foster cultural relations with other countries and protect and enhance the Philippines’ image abroad;
(8) Undertake efforts to inform the international community about the Philippines in cooperation with other government agencies;
(9) Protect and assist Philippine nationals abroad;
(10) Carry out legal documentation functions as provided for by law and regulations;
(11) Monitor and analyze events in other countries and report them, as appropriate, to the President and other government agencies;
(12) Initiate, formulate, integrate and submit to the President short, medium, and long-range foreign policy plans and programs in cooperation with other government agencies;
(13) Supervise and direct officials and employees assigned by the Department and other government agencies to Foreign Service establishments abroad in accordance with the pertinent laws, rules and inter-agency agreements;
(14) Recruit, maintain and develop a professional career foreign service based on merit; and
(15) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.
Section 4. Organizational Structure. – The Department shall have the following units:
(1) The Department Proper which shall be composed of the Office of the Secretary, the Offices of the Undersecretaries, the Offices of the Assistant Secretaries, and the Home Offices;
(2) The Foreign Service Establishments which are the Philippine Embassies, Consulates, Legations and Permanent Missions.
Section 5. Offices Under the Direct Supervision of the Secretary. – The Secretary shall exercise direct supervision over the following:
(1) Foreign Service Institute. – The Foreign Service Institute shall continue to operate under its charter, and shall have the following main objectives and responsibilities:
(a) Program, implement, and manage the Career Foreign Service Development Program (CFSDP) in all of its main components for the purpose of upgrading the professional Career Foreign Service Corps;
(b) Program, implement and manage complementary organizational development programs for the Department as well as other training and educational programs for both its career and non-career personnel, and personnel of other government agencies assigned to foreign missions;
(c) Program, implement and manage the necessary supportive plans and operating systems for the Career Foreign Service Development Programs and complementary programs;
(d) Develop its own policies, and rules, program of activities, core staff and consultants, administrative structure, operating systems and resources, in order to enable it to accomplish competently its activities.
It shall be revitalized as the training, research, and career development arm of the Department, in accordance with such rules as may be prescribed by the Secretary. The Institute shall be an integral participant in the planning review process in the Department.
(2) UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines. – The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) National Commission of the Philippines shall, in coordination with the Office of United Nations and other international organizations, advise the Philippine Government and the Philippine delegation to the UNESCO Conference, on matters relating to UNESCO, and shall function as a liaison agency on matters pertaining to the Commission.
(3) Technical Assistance Council. – The Technical Assistance Council shall continue to perform its present functions including the conduct and expansion of its programs.
Section 6. Undersecretaries. – The Secretary shall be assisted by two (2) Undersecretaries, who shall be appointed by the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary. The Secretary shall determine and assign the respective functions and responsibilities of the Undersecretaries. The Secretary shall designate one of the Undersecretaries as Acting Secretary in his absence.
Section 7. Assistant Secretaries. – The Secretary shall be assisted by six (6) Assistant Secretaries who shall be appointed by the President upon recommendation by the Secretary. The Secretary shall delineate the respective areas of responsibility of each Assistant Secretary.
Section 8. Home Offices. – (1) Geographical Offices. – The following offices shall be responsible for providing staff support and policy guidance in the coordination, supervision, monitoring, integration, and reporting of the activities and operations of Philippine diplomatic missions and establishments within their geographical coverage:
(a) Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs: Japan and Northeast Asia, China, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Pacific countries;
(b) Office of Middle East and African Affairs: the Gulf States, Middle East and North Africa, West Africa and East Africa;
(c) Office of American Affairs: United States of America, Canada, Mexico, the Central American and Caribbean countries, and South America.
(d) Office of European Affairs: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Europe.
(2) Office of ASEAN Affairs. – The Office of ASEAN Affairs shall be responsible for Philippine participation and negotiation, as well as providing staff support and policy guidance in the coordination, supervision, monitoring, integration, reporting and operations of the Philippine Government in the ASEAN.
(3) Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations. – The Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations shall be responsible for Philippine participation and negotiation as well as providing staff support and policy guidance in the coordination, supervision, monitoring, integration, reporting and operations of the Philippine Government in the United Nations, its specialized agencies and other international organizations. It shall also serve as the secretariat of all Philippine National Commissions and Councils created pursuant to commitments in the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
(4) Office of International Economic Affairs and Development. – The Office of International Economic Affairs and Development shall be responsible for conducting programs and activities of the Department in the fields of international trade, finance and economics; coordinate with the regional offices and the Office of United Nations and International Organizations; and, in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry, conduct trade and investment promotion activities of the Department.
(5) Office of Cultural Affairs and Public Information Services. – The Office of Cultural Affairs and Public Information Services shall be responsible for promoting the cultural and public information program of the Government abroad and for the development and dissemination of information and the coordination of information activities on the Government’s foreign and domestic policies.
(6) Office of Personnel and Administrative Services. – The Office of Personnel and Administrative Services shall be responsible for the efficient management of human resources and administrative support services, and shall make appropriate recommendations, including those concerning job classification, salary administration, benefits, retirement, and awards to deserving members of the Foreign Service.
(7) Office of Financial Management Services. – The Office of Financial Management Services shall be responsible for budgetary, financial and accounting services in the Department and the Foreign Service.
(8) Office of Consular Services. – The Office of Consular Services shall be responsible for the efficient and effective delivery of passport, visa and authentication services. It shall also extend assistance to Filipino nationals both here and abroad.
Section 9. Advisory Boards and Committees. – The Secretary may create such advisory boards and committees as he may deem necessary to assist and provide him with advice in the formulation of policies, as well as designate as special advisers such Chiefs of Mission who are on home assignment on specific areas of their expertise.
Section 10. Office of the Legal Adviser. – The Office of the Legal Adviser shall be headed by a Legal Adviser, who shall be a career Chief of Mission. However, the Legal Adviser may be appointed by the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary, from outside the career service, in which case he shall have the assimilated rank of a Chief of Mission. His term shall be co-terminus with the tenure of the Secretary, unless sooner terminated, and he is not eligible for foreign assignment. The Legal Adviser shall provide legal advice and services to the Department.
Section 11. Office of Coordination and Policy Planning. – The Office of Coordination and Policy Planning shall be headed by the Chief Coordinator. The Office of Coordination and Policy Planning shall initiate, coordinate and integrate the planning of foreign policy. It shall provide staff support to the Office of Secretary and perform coordinating and such other functions as may be prescribed by the Secretary.
Section 12. Office of Data Banking and Communication. – The Office of Data Banking and Communication shall establish and maintain a modern data and communication center in the Department. The Office shall:
(1) Assist the Secretary on all matters regarding data banking and information retrieval;
(2) Establish, develop and maintain a computerized foreign-relations data bank for the Department;
(3) Establish, develop and maintain both domestic and foreign service communications systems, including efficient flow systems for all correspondence between and among all Department units;
(4) Establish, develop and maintain the records system of the entire Department;
(5) Provide technical assistance to any service, office, or attached agency of the Department, on matters within its competence; and
(6) Perform such other functions as may be assigned by the Secretary.
Section 13. Office of Protocol, State and Official Visits. – The Office of Protocol, State and Official Visits shall coordinate preparations for state visits, the reception of Chiefs of State, heads of Government, the highest foreign dignitaries visiting the Philippines, as well as official visits of Philippine officials abroad, as may be determined by the President. It shall also be responsible for handling all activities of the Department concerning protocol, ceremonials and socials, the proper observance and enforcement of formalities, courtesies, facilities, immunities and privileges under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and other applicable conventions and agreements.
Section 14. Office of Intelligence and Security. – The Office of Intelligence and Security shall adopt a system of information gathering and analysis, act as liaison with the intelligence community, and provide security services in the Department. It shall also undertake the enforcement and monitoring of security procedures in the Department and Foreign Service establishments.
BOARD OF FOREIGN SERVICE ADMINISTRATION
Section 15. Composition. – The Board of Foreign Service Administration shall be composed of nine (9) members: one (1) Undersecretary as Chairman; the other Undersecretary as Vice-Chairman; the six (6) Assistant Secretaries and the Legal Adviser, as members.
Section 16. Functions. – The Board shall be responsible for considering and recommending policies for the efficient and economical discharge of the administrative operations of the Department and the Foreign Service. It shall also consider and submit recommendation on policy and other matters concerning personnel, including the appointment, promotion and assignment of Foreign Service Staff Officers and Employees, as well as recommend to the President through the Secretary the appointment and promotion of Foreign Service Officers, Counselors and Chiefs of Mission. It shall also act and submit recommendations on administrative cases involving personnel of the Department and the Foreign Service.
BOARD OF FOREIGN SERVICE EXAMINERS
Section 17. Composition. – The Board of Foreign Service Examiners shall be composed of one (1) Undersecretary as Chairman; and the Assistant Secretary for Personnel and Administrative Services and a Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission as members. The Board shall be under the administrative supervision of such Undersecretary.
Section 18. Functions. – The Board shall be responsible for planning and administering the Foreign Service Officers Examinations and the Foreign Service Staff Officers and Foreign Service Staff Employees Examinations.
Section 19. Attached Agencies. – The Law of the Sea Secretariat, the Inter-Agency Technical Committee on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation with Socialist Countries (SOCCOM), the Inter-Agency Technical Committee on Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries (IATC-TCDC), the Permanent Inter-Agency Technical Committee on ESCAP Matters (PITCEM), and other agencies attached to the Department shall continue to operate and function in accordance with their respective charters or laws creating them, except as otherwise provided in this Code.
THE FOREIGN SERVICE
Section 20. Functions of Diplomatic Missions. – The Diplomatic Missions shall:
(1) Represent the Philippines abroad and promote friendly relations with other countries in all fields;
(2) Protect national interests and the interests of Filipino nationals abroad;
(3) Ascertain and evaluate conditions and developments abroad and report thereon to the Department Head;
(4) Serve as channels of communication between the Government of the Philippines and foreign governments; and
(5) Perform such other functions provided by law.
Section 21. Functions of Consular Establishments. – The consular establishments shall:
(1) Protect national interests abroad and promote foreign relations in all fields, particularly in the economic and trade areas;
(2) Ascertain and evaluate conditions and developments abroad in the commercial, economic, cultural and scientific fields and report thereon to the Department Head;
(3) Issue passports and travel documents to Filipino nationals, and visas or appropriate documents to foreign nationals desiring to travel to the Philippines;
(4) Protect the interests of Filipino nationals abroad, provide necessary services and assistance, and perform notarial functions allowed by regulations;
(5) Transmit judicial and extra-judicial documents and execute letters rogatory or commissions to receive evidence abroad for Philippine courts;
(6) Supervise and inspect in accordance with laws and regulations of the Philippines, vessels and aircrafts and their crews; and
(7) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.
ATTACHES AND REPRESENTATIVES
Section 22. Attaches of the Department. – The Department Head shall designate attaches of the Department from the ranks of Foreign Service Officers and Foreign Service Staff Officers.
Section 23. Attaches of Other Departments. – The assignment abroad of personnel in any Department, Bureau or office of the Philippine government as attaches or representatives shall have the prior clearance of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. The clearance shall include such matters as the actual need for opening particular types of attache services, and the specific places where these services will be made available.
Section 24. Appointment and Accreditation of Attaches. – (1) The authority to appoint attaches shall be vested in the Head of the Department or agency maintaining the attache service, who shall consult with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs on such appointments.
(2) A Department or agency shall have only one attache accredited to it by the receiving government, except military attaches.
(3) The designation of attaches shall apply only to those serving in diplomatic missions. Those assigned to consular establishments shall be designated as representatives.
Except in extraordinary cases, each foreign service establishment shall have only military, labor, revenue, tourism, information and commercial attaches.
In the event of the actual need for more than one attache, as determined by the department or agency in consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs, the succeeding attache shall be accredited as assistant attache.
Section 25. Relationships Between the Chief of Mission and Attaches. – The Chief of Mission shall be responsible for the conduct of affairs of government at the diplomatic posts. All attaches and representatives of other departments, shall during their tour of duty, be under the immediate control and administrative supervision of the Chief of Mission where they are assigned. They shall be required to submit their reports to their agencies through the Chief of Mission and the Department of Foreign Affairs, except when national security requires otherwise. They shall clear with the Chief of Mission all their public pronouncements at the diplomatic post, and all the documents and materials they send shall be transmitted through the diplomatic pouch.
The supremacy of the Chief of Mission for the conduct of foreign relations at the post is established. The Chief of Mission shall have the authority to discipline attaches within his Mission, including the authority to have them recalled, if necessary.
Section 26. Assimilated Ranks. – (1) Except as the President may appoint, no officer of the Philippine government stationed abroad, outside the Department of Foreign Affairs, shall be assigned assimilated ranks higher than Foreign Service Officer Class I.
(2) The assignment of assimilated rank personnel of the Philippine government stationed abroad shall remain with the President who shall act on the basis of recommendations of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Budget and Management.
(3) The assimilated ranks are for purposes of compensation only and shall not confer diplomatic rank for purposes of protocol. Civil attaches shall always rank after the lowest ranking Foreign Service officer in the post.
Section 27. Relationship Between the Consul-General or the Principal Officer at the Consulate and the Representative. – The relationship of the Consul-General or the Principal Officer at the post and the Representatives assigned to the said post shall be the same as the relationship between the Chief of Mission and the attaches.
Section 28. Uniform Rules for Attache Services. – A uniform set of rules and regulations shall govern attache and representative services. This shall be drafted by an Inter-Department Committee to be composed of the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs as Chairman, and the Undersecretaries, or equivalent officials, of the Departments or agencies with attaches or representatives abroad, as members.
Section 29. Policy. – To enable the Foreign Service to effectively serve abroad the interests of the Republic of the Philippines, it shall be the policy of the Department that only persons who are competent, of good moral character, and fully informed of the Philippine History and current trends in Filipino life shall be appointed to the service.
Section 30. Categories of Officers and Employees. – The Service shall consist of the following categories of officers and employees:
(1) Chiefs of Missions
(3) Foreign Service Officers
(4) Foreign Service Staff Officers
(5) Foreign Service Staff Employees
(6) Honorary Consuls
(7) Alien Employees
Section 31. Foreign Service Officers. – There shall be a career service composed of foreign service officers. The Service shall consist of six classes of Foreign Service Officers including Chiefs of Missions and Counsellors.
(1) A Chief of Mission may be assigned as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Head of an Office in the Department, or Deputy Chief of Mission.
(2) A Counsellor may be assigned as Executive Officer of an Office in the Department, Counsellor in an Embassy, or Head of a Consular Post.
(3) The assignments of the other classes of Foreign Service Officers shall be as follows:
Home Office Service Diplomatic Service Consular Class I Chief of Division First Secretary Consul Class II Chief of Division Secondary Secretary Consul Class III Chief of Division Third Secretary Consul Class IV Asst. Chief of Division Third Secretary Vice-Consul
(4) In the home office, assignment to a position requiring a rank higher than the actual rank of the Foreign Service Officer shall be in an acting capacity.
(5) A Foreign Service Officer in any class may be designated as a special assistant to the Secretary or to an Undersecretary. A Foreign Service Officer below the rank of Class I may be designated as Principal Assistant to a Head of Office.
Section 32. Foreign Service Staff Officers. – There shall be three classes of Foreign Service Staff Employees to provide the administrative and technical services.
Section 33. Foreign Service Staff Employees. – There shall be three classes of Foreign Service Staff Employees to provide the clerical, custodial, messengerial and similar services.
Section 34. Honorary Consuls. – Honorary consuls shall be appointed from among qualified private persons to perform certain consular functions on a non-career basis.
APPOINTMENTS, COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Section 35. Foreign Service Officers. – (1) Foreign Service Officers shall be appointed by the President.
(2) No person shall be eligible for appointment as Foreign Service Officers unless he has passed the competitive examinations given by the Board of Foreign Service Examiners and successfully completed his probationary service.
(3) The Secretary shall, upon the recommendation of the Board of Foreign Service, submit to the President names of eligibles for appointment as Foreign Service Officers. The initial appointment of Foreign Service Officers shall only be to Foreign Service Officers Class IV minimum.
Section 36. Staff Officers and Employees. – The Secretary shall appoint, in accordance with the Civil Service Law, all Foreign Service Officers and Foreign Service Staff Employees who must be in the Philippines at the time of their original or initial appointment.
Section 37. Alien Employees. – The Secretary shall, upon the recommendation of the head of diplomatic or consular establishment and as much as possible in accordance with the Civil Service Law, appoint alien employees who shall be recruited at the post to supplement the regular staff of a foreign service establishment.
Section 38. Compensation and Benefits. – The salaries, allowances, travel expenses, insurance and other benefits of Foreign Service Officers, and Employees shall be as provided by law and regulations.
Section 39. Merit Promotion System. – The Board of the Foreign Service shall establish a merit promotion system for all officers and employees of the Department.
Section 40. Requirements for Promotion in the Career Service. – (1) For promotion to Chief of Mission Class I, the candidate must have served as a Chief of Mission Class II and rendered continuous service as Foreign Service Officer for at least twelve (12) years;
(2) For promotion to Chief of Mission Class II, the candidate must have served as a Foreign Service Officer Class I and rendered continuous service as Foreign Service Officer for at least ten years;
(3) For promotion to Foreign Service Officer Class I, the candidate must have served as a Foreign Service Officer Class II, and rendered continuous service as Foreign Service Officer for at least eight years;
(4) For promotion to Foreign Service Officer Class II, the candidate must have served as Foreign Service Officer Class III, and rendered continuous service as Foreign Service Officer for at least six years;
(5) For promotion to Foreign Service Officer Class III, the candidate must have rendered continuous service as a Foreign Service Officer Class IV for at least two years.
Section 41. Promotion of Foreign Service Officers. – (1) Promotions of Foreign Service Officers from one class to the next higher class shall be made by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary. All promotions shall be to the lowest grade of the class.
(2) Promotion in grade within the class shall be made by the Secretary upon the recommendation of the Board of Foreign Service Administration.
Section 42. Promotion of Foreign Service Staff Officers, Foreign Service Staff Employees and Alien Employees. – Promotions of foreign service staff officers and employees and alien employees shall be made by the Secretary, upon recommendation of the Board of the Foreign Service Administration in accordance with the promotion system.
ASSIGNMENTS AND TRANSFERS
Section 43. Rotation Plan. – The secretary shall establish a system of assignments and transfers to ensure that all qualified officers and employees, except the employees in the non-career service, shall serve in diplomatic and consular establishments in different regions of the world. The assignment and transfer of personnel shall follow a regular rotation plan. For purposes of assignments, the home office shall be considered a post. All personnel shall be available for assignment to any post.
Section 44. Initial Home Office Requirement. – No Foreign Service Officer, Staff Officer or Employee shall be assigned to any foreign service establishment unless he has rendered continuous and satisfactory service in the home office for at least three (3) years.
Section 45. Tour of Duty. – (1) The tour of duty of a Foreign Service Officer at any post shall be four (4) years commencing on the date of his arrival at the post, after which he shall be transferred to another post;
(2) The tour of duty of a Foreign Service Staff Officer or Employee at any post shall be for a period of six (6) years commencing on the date of his arrival at the post, after which he shall be transferred to another post;
(3) No Foreign Service Officer, Staff Officer or Employee shall serve more than two (2) consecutive tours of duty abroad;
(4) No Foreign Service Officer may serve more than four (4) consecutive years in the home office, except when designated as Secretary or Undersecretary.
Section 46. Retirement. – (1) Any Foreign Service Officer, Staff Officer or Employee who has reached the age of sixty-five (65) shall be compulsorily retired from the services unless his service is extended by the President in the interest of the service. Alien employees shall be allowed to retire from the service at the same age as that provided for employees of the governments of their respective countries, provided that retirement age shall not be beyond sixty-five (65) years.
(2) Foreign Service Officers reinstated to the service after retirement and who are assigned abroad as ambassadors or chief of mission, and persons who are appointed as ambassadors without previously serving as Career Foreign Service Officers shall be considered automatically separated from the Foreign Service upon termination of their assignment abroad as ambassadors or chief of missions.
Section 47. Resignation. – The Secretary shall have authority to accept the resignation of any Foreign Service Officer, Staff Employee, Honorary Consul and Alien Employee.
Section 48. Definition. – A Philippine passport is an official document of identity of Philippine citizenship of the holder issued for travel purposes.
Section 49. Persons Entitled. – Only citizens of the Philippines may be issued passports. A minor may, upon his own application, be issued a passport, except when his natural or legal guardian requests that the application be denied.
Section 50. Authority to Issue, Restrict, Withdraw or Cancel. – The Secretary shall have authority to withhold the issuance or order the cancellation or restriction of passports upon lawful order of the court or when he deems it necessary in the interest of national security, public safety or public health, or in cases when a passport was secured through misrepresentation or fraud.
Section 51. Period of Validity, Extension and Renewal. – The original period of validity of a Philippine passport is two (2) years. It may be extended for another two (2) years provided that the application for extension is made before the expiration of four (4) years from the date of original issue of the passport. However, the validity of a passport may be limited for a certain period or for a definite purpose.
Section 52. Supplementary Regulation. – The Secretary may prescribe supplementary regulations for the issuance, extension or amendment of all kinds of passports.
Section 53. Amendments. – Upon application, an unexpired passport may be amended to reflect the new civil status or new name or surname of the holder, or to add more pages, or to modify a condition or restriction therein.
Section 54. Fees. – The Secretary shall prescribe uniform fees for the issuance, extension and amendment of passports, and such other services that may be rendered by the Department relating to passports. However, no fee shall be collected for the issuance of passports to government officials proceeding abroad in the discharge of their official duties attested by regular travel orders or for those issued to immediate members of their families on official travel.
Section 55. Use of Savings. – The Secretary is authorized to use any savings in the appropriations for the Department for the payment of: (a) expenses for the evacuation or repatriation to the Philippines, when necessary due to an emergency, of members of the household of the personnel of any diplomatic or consular establishment as well as the transportation of their personal effects; (b) actual return passage by the most direct and economical means of transportation and the cost of shipment of the household effects to Manila of any officer or employee in the Foreign Service, including the immediate dependent members of his family, who resigns or is separated from the service for cause; (c) the cost of preparing and transporting the remains of an officer or employee who is a citizen of the Philippines and the immediate members of his family who may die abroad or while in travel status; or (d) contingent and unforeseen expenses that may arise in connection with the operation of the Foreign Service.
Section 56. Pool of Foreign Service Officers. – In all appropriation acts providing funds for the operation and maintenance of the Department, the positions of Foreign Service Officers, including those who may serve in the home office, shall be in a pool grouped according to their classes with their salaries and allowances indicated in one lump sum for each class, leaving to the head of office the discretion to assign or commission those officers whenever their services may be utilized to advantage, subject to the limitations provided by law.