The Philippine Foreign Service Act of 1991 expects foreign service personnel, especially those who will serve as cultural officers, to promote Philippine arts and culture. They are effective representatives of the Philippines in the international arena and thus must be able to project and promote Philippine culture and values.
With this aim, the the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) conducted the Cultural Officers Course from 23 July to 03 August 2018 at the Carlos P. Romulo School of Diplomacy. Nineteen personnel from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and FSI participated in the program.
The course included topics such as cultural diplomacy in the Philippine foreign policy, the promotion of Philippine arts and culture under Republic Act 7157 and the legal bases for the creation of the Cultural Diplomacy Unit of the DFA, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and Sentro Rizal. Other topics discussed were the functions of the cultural officer, organizing cultural events at the foreign service posts, and Philippine arts such as Filipino dance, literature, languages, and furniture.
Also included in the course was the Laguna Heritage and Culture Study Tour, which was held on 02-03 August 2018. Some of the places visited were the Salted Egg Making Factory in Victoria, the Pila Museum and other heritage sites in Pila, Burdahand in Lumban, the Japanese Garden along Lake Caliraya, Kamay ni Hesus in Lucban, the Costales Farm in Majayjay, and the footwear shops in Liliw.