Foreign Service Staff Officer (FSO/FSSO) Examinations

What this is For:

Foreign Service Officer / Foreign Service Staff Officer (FSO/FSSO) Examinations Application Form Foreign Service Officer Foreign Service

Where to File:


DFA Main Office: Board of Foreign Service Examinations, Department of Foreign Affairs, DFA Building, 2330 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City Tels. (02) 834-3080/ 3083 Fax (02) 551-5976

DFA RCO Lucena: Manpower Training Center, Better Living Subdivision, Isabang, Lucena City Tels. (042) 710-4526, 373-1898 Email:

DFA Mindanao and DFA RCO Davao City: Ebro-Pelayo Building, E. Jacinto Street, Davao City Tels. (082) 227-3900, 227-3900, 224-4885, 227-0713 Fax (082) 221-4552, 227-0712 Email:

DFA RCO Cagayan de Oro: Geleng Building, Lapasan Highway, Cagayan de Oro City Tels. (08822) 724-309, 720-122 Fax (08822) 726-578 Email:,

DFA RCO La Union: Pasado Building, Pagdalagan Norte, San Fernando, La Union Tels. (072) 888-3733, 242-7694 Fax (072) 888-5484 Email:,

DFA RCO Clark Field: Balikbayan Shopping Mall, Claro M. Recto Avenue, Clarkfield, Angeles, Pampanga Tels. (045) 599-7777 Fax No. (045) 599-6555 Email:

DFA RCO Cebu: Causing Lozada Building, Osmena Blvd. cor Lapu-lapu Street, Cebu City Tels. (032) 256-3193 Fax (032) 256-0624, 253- 6798 Email:

DFA RCO Iloilo: Yulo Street, Iloilo City Tels. (033) 336-1737 Fax (033) 335-0221 Email:

DFA RCO Zamboanga: Go-Velayo Building, Veterans Avenue, Zamboanga City Tels. (062) 991-4398 Fax (062) 991-7958 Email:

DFA RCO Legazpi: 3/F, City Hall Bldg., Legazpi City Tels. (052) 480-3000, 820-3396 Fax (052) 480-1773 Email:

DFA RCO Tacloban: Leyte SMED Center, Capitol Site, Tacloban City Tels. (053) 321-8232, 321-8233 Fax (053) 321-8237 Email:

DFA RCO Tuguegarao: Municipal Building, Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley Tels (078) 846-2310, 846-1482 Fax (078) 846-2310 Email:


Regional Office No. 01: Quezon Avenue, San Fernando City, 2500 La Union

Regional Office No. 02: San Gabriel, Tuguegarao City, 3500 Cagayan

Regional Office No. 03: Provincial Capitol Bldg., San Fernando City, 2000 Pampanga

Regional Office No. 04: 139 Panay Ave., Brgy. South Triangle, 1103 Quezon City

Regional Office No. 05: Rawls, Legazpi City 4500

Regional Office No. 06: Onate Street, Mandurriao 5000 Iloilo City

Regional Office No. 07: Jereza cor. P. Burgos St., 6000 Cebu City

Regional Office No. 08: Government Center, Candahug, Palo, 8501 Leyte

Regional Office No. 09: Cabatangan, 7000 Zamboanga City

Regional Office No. 10: Vamenta Boulevard, Carmen, 9000 Cagayan de Oro City

Regional Office No. 11: Ecoland Drive cor. Beechnut St., Ecoland Subd. 8000 Davao City

Regional Office No. 12: Gov. Guitierrez Avenue 9600, Cotabato City

National Capital Region: 25 Kaliraya Street, 1100 Quezon City

CARAGA Region: Doongan Road, 8600 Butuan City

Cordillera Administrative Region: No. 5 New Lucban, 2600 Baguio City

Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao: ARMM Complex, 9600 Cotabato City

Other Documentary Requirements:


What The Board of Foreign Service Examinations, pursuant to provisions of the Foreign Service Act (R.A. 7157) of 1991 and the Revised Administrative Code of 1987, announces the holding of the FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER / FOREIGN SERVICE STAFF OFFICER (FSO/FSSO) EXAMINATIONS to recruit candidates for appointment to the position of Foreign Service Officer, Class IV and Foreign Service Staff Officer, Class IV.


Only complete applications shall be accepted. Applicants are advised to check carefully as to whether or not they meet the admission requirements. Incomplete applications and the applications of those found ineligible shall be disregarded.


The duties of a Foreign Service Officer include: gathering information, analyzing and reporting political, economic, technological, cultural and other events and developments; drafting diplomatic notes and other forms of diplomatic correspondence; preparing briefing papers and other foreign policy papers for the Department and other offices of government as may be required; assisting in the preparation and conduct of international conferences; managing and supervising staff; working with other government agencies and private groups and individuals in promoting Philippine interests abroad; undertaking negotiations; assisting Filipinos abroad and protecting their rights; promoting Philippine culture and trade and bringing in foreign investments and tourism to the Philippines; performing consular functions; and representing the Philippines in various international fora.


Foreign Service Staff Officers hold the senior staff positions in the Foreign Service and assist the Head of Post (Ambassador or Consul General) in the over-all operation of the diplomatic or consular mission. They provide the necessary specialized skills, technical services and expertise for the effective conduct of Philippine foreign relations. Their functions include economic and political data gathering activities; research analysis and reporting; protocol and conference work; consular and legal services; assistance to and protection of the interests of Filipino nationals abroad; cultural promotion, public affairs, including Filipino community relations work and information service; personnel management, administrative and fiscal-related services.

FSSOs perform diplomatic and consular functions complementing the work of Foreign Service Officers. In diplomatic posts, they are generally designated as attaches, giving them diplomatic accreditation and status. They deal with both the government and the private sector in the many aspects of our relations with the host country at the appropriate level.


Those who are vying for a Foreign Service Officer position will need to pass all three examinations in the FSO/FSSO Examinations. These examinations are (1) the Qualifying Test, (2) the Written Examination and (3) the Oral Examination.

Those who will obtain grades below 75% in the Written Examination shall not be allowed to proceed to the Oral Examination. However, they may qualify for appointment to the rank of Foreign Service Staff Officer IV, provided they meet the cutoff grade set by the BFSE for the said rank.

I. FSO/FSSO Qualifying Test - 29 May 2005 (Subject to Future Revision)

The Qualifying Test covers (1) English grammar and correct usage - 40%; (2) Reading comprehension - 20%; (3) Logical reasoning - 15%; (4) Quantitative reasoning/data interpretation -10%; and (5) Leadership/ knowledge of management concepts - 15%.

The testing centers for the Qualifying Test are in Baguio City, Cagayan de Oro City, Cebu City, Davao City, San Fernando City (La Union), Legazpi City, Quezon City, Iloilo City, Zamboanga City. Tests are also held in Washington D.C, USA, Vienna, Austria and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Only those who will pass the FSO/FSSO Qualifying Test with a rating of at least 80% will be allowed to take the FSO/FSSO Written Examination.

II. FSO/FSSO Written Examination - 24, 25, 26 August 2005

The FSO/FSSO Written Examination covers six subjects. The weights of each subject are as follows:

1. English 20%

2. Filipino 5%

Philippine Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Conditions - Philippine history, culture, foreign policy, geography, government, development issues and goals 30%

3. International Affairs - Theory and practice of international economics and trade, international politics, international law and treaties 20%

4. World History 20%

5. Foreign Language - Arabic, Bahasa, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian or Spanish 5%

The testing centers for the FSO/FSSO Written Examination are in Pasay City, Cebu City, Davao City, Iloilo City and Zamboanga City.

Those who will obtain a grade of at least 75% in English and a composite score of at least 75% in the Written Examination will qualify to take the FSO Oral Examination.

Those who will obtain grades below 75% in the Written Examination shall not be allowed to proceed to the Oral Examination. However, they may qualify for appointment to the rank of Foreign Service Staff Officer IV, provided they meet the cutoff grade set by the BFSE for the said rank.

III. FSO Oral Examination

The Oral Examination will be held in Manila after the results of the Written Examination shall have been determined. The Oral Examination will include an assessment of the candidates oral expression skills, logical thinking and values and attitude. Previous records and experiences will also be considered in determining the candidate's fitness and aptitude for foreign service work

A candidate must receive a mark not less than 80% in the oral examination in order to be certified by the Department of Foreign Affairs as eligible for appointment as FSO IV.

Qualifications and Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

1. Age Limit - Applicants must be less than thirty-six (36) years of age on the date of the Written Examination. The maximum age limit, however, does not apply to those who have been employed in the Department of Foreign Affairs for at least two years prior to the date of the FSO/FSSO Written Examination and who meet the other qualifications required of candidates for the examination.

2. Education - Applicants must present evidence (transcript of records and diploma; certificate of graduation) of having graduated from a four (4) year bachelor's degree course or its equivalent in a college or university of recognized standing.

3. Citizenship - Applicants must be Filipino citizens.


1. Application forms may be obtained three ways:

The form may be downloaded from the DFA website ( or the CSC website ( Foreign Service Officer Foreign Service

The form may be obtained personally from the DFA Main Office, DFA Regional Consular Offices (RCO), or from Civil Service Commission Offices. (Contact details below)

The form may be obtained through postal service from main office of the DFA or its RCOs.

2. Application forms must be duly completed by the applicants themselves and returned either by post or in person to any of the above-mentioned DFA Offices not later than 13 May 2005. (Subject to Future Revision)


3. The following should be attached to the completed application forms:

a. Transcript of college or university record and diploma and certificate from the Professional Regulatory Commission, indicating the grade obtained in the bar or board examination.

b. Birth certificate - In case a birth certificate cannot be presented, the applicant must submit other evidence of birth, such as baptismal certificate, birth affidavit, passport and naturalization papers (as appropriate).

c. One (1) copy of 2 x 2 photograph, four (4) copies of 1" x 1" I.D. photographs taken not more than three (3) months before the date of the examination, showing the full frontal view of the face of the applicant

d. Two (2) copies of 1-1/2 x 2 photographs, taken not more than three (3) months before the date of the examination, showing the full frontal view of the face of the applicant with name tag.

e. Two (2) self-addressed envelopes marked as priority mail.

An admission fee of two hundred pesos (P200.00) will be collected from those who will qualify to take the FSO/FSSO Written Examination.