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ALLOCATE ADDITIONAL BUDGET TO DFA FOR EXPERTS TRAINING – GORDON

In line with his proposal that the country’s diplomatic service should train and become experts on the countries that they are posted to, Senator Dick Gordon has proposed the allocation of additional budget to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Gordon said the members of the diplomatic service are not only the country’s representatives, but they are also its eyes and ears in their posts, hence they should not only be an expert on the language, but also on the culture and the country itself.

“Hindi lang language skills ang kailangan natin, but experts in the country they’re posted in. Kailangan din natin yan para sa Department of National Defense, kailangan din natin sa negosyo. Makikipagnegotiate ka, kung hindi marunong, nawawala sa translation. Dapat meron talagang mga experts sa mga embassies. Hindi lang marunong sa history and government, dapat alam din nila halimbawa ano ba nagagawa ng mga computers nila doon sa bansang yun, ano ba ang kakayahan nila?” the seasoned legislator said.

“For example in the Middle East, Arab-speaking? How many Arab-speaking ambassadors do we have? Not only Arab-speaking diplomats but also knowing how Arabs think? Dapat they can provide an in-depth analysis of events happening in their posts. We should be adequately prepared so we can study the world and we can make the right decisions,” the veteran lawmaker added.

The senator cited the case of two Filipinos who were accused of espionage and have been imprisoned since December 2017 in Iran.

“The problem in this case is that we do not have any Iranian speakers who can communicate with the Iranian government. Do we have experts who know the law of Iran?” he asked during the hearing for the DFA’s 2019 budget.

Gordon noted that the DFA has a lot of important and strategic things to do for the country such as taking care of the problems of overseas Filipino workers, finding out where business trends are going in the world, what the country can bring in, what it can trade and the security strengths of our neighboring countries.

“That’s why it’s so important. I really think we take it for granted, the country takes it for granted that the DFA is the premiere Cabinet position in the country. They are our eyes and ears to the whole world. They listen to the footsteps of the world. They look at trends and that’s why we have to fully support them going forward,” he said.

“The country takes it for granted that the DFA is the premiere Cabinet position in the country. They are our eyes and ears to the whole world. They listen to the footsteps of the world. They look at trends and that’s why we have to fully support them going forward.”

Meanwhile, Gordon said the DFA’s foreign language program, for which he made a P20 million allocation in the 2018 budget, should be extended or expanded to other government agencies.

He also suggested that the DFA could explore a possible partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, which offers language programs. The two agencies could team up so that the DFA can look for jobs abroad for the graduates of the TESDA program.

‘The DFA could explore a possible partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, which offers language programs. The two agencies could team up so that the DFA can look for jobs abroad for the graduates of the TESDA program.”

 

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