What is an FSO IV?

A Foreign Service Officer IV (FSO IV) serves as Principal Assistant/Assistant Director in the Department of Foreign Affairs - Home Office, as Third Secretary in Philippine Embassies/Missions, or as Vice Consul in Philippine Consulates.

As Principal Assistant/Assistant Director, the FSO IV supervises entry level and second level staff involved in research, analytical, and clerical work. The FSO IV also drafts reports, correspondences, position papers, talking points, legal opinions or agreements, attends local and international meetings and conferences, coordinates with government agencies and diplomatic missions on matters pertaining to the mandate of his/her Division.

As Third Secretary, the FSO IV may assume either the role of Economic or Political Officer or both. As Vice Consul, the FSO IV supervises entry level and second level consular staff in carrying out the functions of the Consular Section, serves as the Principal Officer tasked to handle assistance-to-nationals cases, and supervises the Administrative Section.


What it means to be an FSO IV?

It has been said that the FSO exam is one of the most difficult exams in the country. Those who are familiar with the exam know that one of the reasons why the exam is difficult is because it is hard to prepare for. Applicants will be asked about anything under the sun and should be able to collect themselves, respond, and defend their position.

However, more than knowledge in current events and history, proficiency in international relations and diplomacy, and grasp of geopolitics and world economy; it should be noted that what is more important is character, critical and strategic thinking, adaptability, decision making, and above all, patriotism, integrity, professionalism, excellence, and service. These are the core values of the DFA and these are what is expected of every single personnel in the foreign service.

The DFA offers a profession of service. As public servants we are sworn to protect the interest of our country and the Filipino people. The Department asks a lot from FSOs and much will be expected. FSOs are expected to exude the highest standards of professionalism and excellence while remaining courteous, respectful, and humble. FSOs are expected to be on call 24/7 to respond to the exigencies of the service. The foreign service is not just a career but a vocation.

Make your mark.  Create your legacy.  We are looking for people with the passion to protect the Philippine national interest and serve the Filipino.


What is the purpose of the Foreign Service Officer Examination (FSOE)?

The FSO Exam or FSOE is conducted to recruit qualified candidates for appointment to the position of Foreign Service Officer, Class IV (FSO IV).