Locsin Tells DFA Personnel: 'I Am Fortunate And Humbled To Serve With The Best In The Government'

31 October 2018 – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. met with personnel of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for the first time on Wednesday and told them how extremely fortunate and humbled he is to be working with the best in the government.

“I’m not just praising you. Your reputation really precedes you—the most professional in the government,” Secretary Locsin told officials and rank and file employees who welcomed him at the Bulwagang Apolinario Mabini.

“In addition to your reputation, I have had one and a half years of personal experience of your professionalism; your brilliance and your hard-work; and not such a good pay after all,” said the Secretary who until his appointment as Manila’s top diplomat was Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.

“In your daily work, especially in the delivery of frontline services here, in all our embassies and consulates, you proactively work for the welfare, protection and well-being of all overseas Filipinos,” he said.

In his remarks, Secretary Locsin summarized his interpretation of the independent foreign policy being pursued by the Duterte Administration.

“It is not independent foreign policy if you simply switch the master that you are kneeling before,” he said.

“Independent foreign policy means getting off your knees, on your feet to stand up for our country. That is what I call independence,” the Secretary pointed out.

Secretary Locsin also shared his management style with DFA personnel and told them that working conditions should be the same for all.

“If the aircon does not work in any part of this building, I will shut down the aircon everywhere, especially in the eleventh floor,” he said, referring to the Office of the Secretary.

“Either we are all cool or we are all hot. And this I’m pretty serious, it may sound like a joke,” the Secretary said.

It was the first time Secretary Locsin met with the rank and file since he succeeded former Sen. Alan Peter S. Cayetano at the helm of the DFA. On Saturday, he met with senior officials shortly upon his return from New York. END