4 Mindanawons among 38 new diplomats

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 Nov) – The Department of Foreign Affairs announced on Friday that 38 examinees of the five-phase Foreign Service Officers Exam passed, out of 143 who passed the preliminary examination in 2013 and 2014.

MindaNews noted that at least four of them are from Mindanao: Michael Frank A. Alar and Jaybee B. Arguillas of Davao City, Edward D. Chan of Buenavista in Agusan del Norte and Al-bari B. Macalawan, an Iranun from Cotabato City.

The Board of Foreign Service Examinations (BFSE) announced through the DFA website that the 38 passers “have been recommended by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs for appointment by the President as Foreign Service Officer Class, Class IV.”

The FSO Exam, considered among the most difficult government examinations, is composed of five stages: the Civil Service Examination for Foreign Service Officer (CSE-FSO), Preliminary Interview, Written Test, Psychological Test, and Oral Test.

“The examination is usually completed within a period of one year from the date of the CSE-FSO which serves as the qualifying test of the examination,” the BFSE said.

Only those who pass the CSE-FSO and preliminary interview can proceed to take the written test and only those who pass the written test are eligible to take the psychological exam.

Those who pass the psychological exam can then proceed to the last stage, the oral exam which has three phases: panel interview, group discussion, and a formal dinner where the examinees are given three minutes to prepare for a three-minute speech on a topic they pick from a fishbowl, for delivery before a crowd of diplomats and fellow examinees.

A total of 143 passed the preliminary examination – 124 in 2014 and 19 in 2013. Of the 143, only 83 passed the written exam and only 53 passed the psychological exam and were eligible to move on to the oral exam. Of the 53, only 38 passed.

The 38 new diplomats: Alar, Michael Frank A; Aquino, Thomas Philip C;   Arguillas, Jaybee B;  Ayap, Manuel C; Beniahan, Jhullie Anne A;  Capati, Bojer B;  Carillo, Venince Allen V;  Chan, Edward D;  Corrado, Joan Macrise C;  Felimer, Emmylou B; Galima, Aprilfleur S;  Ganzon, Mina Angeles L;  Guiang, Alfred Kristoffer A;  Gurrea, Fay Irene L;   Lao, Mark Hanzel H;   Lim, Mark Dominic E;   Lipana, Dianne Shayne D; Macalawan, Al-Bari B;  Martinez, Beatriz Alexandra G; Marquez, Fellain Ann P; Milla, Patricia C; Miras, Adrian;   Mostajo, Josel N;  Mutia, Rowena F; Ochoa, Ma. Claribel M; Olaguera, Jose Santiago; Pavon, Teddy Edmund T;  Payumo, Angeli A; Ramintas, Jake Robin S;  Rosales, Barbie Jane L;  Sadie, Jomar T;  Sanchez, Janice C; Santos, John Boitte C; Solosa, Pat Lester F;   Tiosen, Feamor Vyn S; Uy, Krystal Lyn T;   Valles, Marivil V; and Zurita, Paolo R.

They will be undergoing a six-month Foreign Service Officers’ Cadetship Course (FSOCC) at the Carlos P. Romulo School of Diplomacy of the DFA’s Foreign Service Institute, as mandated by RA 7157 or the Foreign Service Act of 1991.

Section 15 of Title 2 on Appointments states that immediately following their appointments as Foreign Service Officers, Class IV, they shall undergo a one-year cadetship which shall consist of “six months intensive classroom instructions on all aspects of consular and diplomatic duties and responsibilities” and another six months on-the-job training.

The law also provides that one who passes an FSO Exam but “declines to accept an initial appointment as foreign service officer within a period of one year from the date (he/she) was offered the appointment shall be required to take and pass examinations again in order to be eligible for an initial appointment.”

Photo from his FB account


Alar, who is turning 36 next month, was born in Davao City to parents coming from Negros Oriental and Leyte, moved to Negros when he was 10, graduated AB Political Science from the Silliman University in Dumaguete City and has been “working for peace since year 2000,” mostly in Mindanao.

Alar is presently a consultant for World Bank, particularly for its facility supporting the Bangsamoro peace process, FASTRAC.

Arguillas, 31, completed her elementary and high school education at the Ateneo de Davao University, took up Communication Arts at the University of the Philippines in Mindanao before moving to UP Asian Institute of Tourism in Diliman where she graduated with a degree in BS Tourism.

She is presently a desk officer at the Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations (UNIO) at the DFA.

EDWARD D. CHAN Profile photo, Facebook EDWARD D. CHAN
Profile photo, Facebook

Linked in profile photo

Chan, 24, finished AB Political Science at the Father Saturnino Urios University in Butuan City. He is presently research specialist at the DFA’s Foreign Service Institute.

Macalawan, 24, is a member of the Young Moro Professionals Network. He finished his Bachelors and then Masters in Political Economy with specialization in International Relations and Development at the University of Asia and the Pacific.

He is presently a Peace Program Officer at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. (MindaNews)