DFA Department Order No. 01-12

Published: 2012-01-02

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Tags: Department of Foreign Affairs, departmental issuances DEPARTMENT ORDER NO. 01-12


Section 1: Legal Basis and Justification.

The institution of operations manuals is based on the following legal prescriptions and administrative imperatives:

A.Book V, Title I, subtitle A, Chapter 1, Sec. 1 of the Executive Order 292 otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987, enjoins the government to adopt measures to promote morale, efficiency, integrity, responsiveness and courtesy in the Civil Service.

B.Section 2 of Republic Act No. 9485 of 2007 otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 directs the government to take appropriate measures to promote transparency in each agency with regard to the manner of transacting with the public, which shall encompass a program for the adoption of simplified procedures that will reduce red tape and expedite transactions involving the government.

C.Section 6 of Republic Act. No. 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 also mandates all government agencies, departments, bureaus, offices, instrumentalities to setup service standards to be known as the Citizen’s Charter.

D.Executive Order (EO) No. 605, (Institutionalizing the Structure, Mechanisms and Standards to implement the Government Quality Management Program Amending for the Purpose Administration Order No. 161, s. 2006) directs the adoption of the ISO 9000:2000 Quality Management System as part of the implementation of a government-wide quality management program which aims to promote and enhance public sector performance, develop institutional infrastructure that shall provide certification with international accreditation, establish citizen’s charter for key government offices, and recognize citizen-driven government organizations.

E.Republic Act No. 6713 otherwise known as the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees” espouses high ethical standards among government workers and a responsive, accountable and accessible public service.

F.Section 87 of Republic Act No. (RA) 7157 or the Foreign Service Act empowers the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to Issue such rules and regulations as maybe necessary to implement the provisions of R.A. 7157 as well as provisions of acts, decrees and orders which are not inconsistent with it.

Section 2. Rationale. 

The adoption of an Operations Manual for all functional levels and units of the Department has the following objectives:

–      Create a streamlined, simpler, more efficient and effective operation

–      Increase transparency and client satisfaction

–      Eliminate irregularities

–      Enhance unit’s reputation and institutional goodwill

–      Improve employee awareness and performance. Attract and retain talent.

–      Promote excellence

–      Promote transparency

–      Promote accountability

–      Reduce waste and increase productivity

Section 3. Elements of the Unit’s Operations Manual

The Operations Manual will include the following sections:

A.Outline of each section of the manual

This section provides an overview of the contents of the manual. The outline is an index of pertinent sections of the manual.

 B.Organizational Chart

The Organizational Chart refers to the relationship of all official functional positions in the Unit.

 C.Description of Unit’s Mandate and Work Plan

The Unit’s mandate is found in D.O 19-A – 95 or in the Foreign Service Act of 1991 which in turn is an offshoot of constitutional provisions on foreign policy. The mandate could be updated based on official legislation pronouncements and directives. The Work Plan flows from the Mission and Vision of the Department as well as the strategic thrusts and goals of the current administration. The work plan of individual units usually cascades from the work plan of the supervising unit.

D.Checklist of Time-bound Processes and Procedures (step by step instruction)

Sources of activities of the unit can be found in Department directives as well as from practices developed in the unit that adhere to prevailing circumstances. The Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 prescribes time-bound descriptions of these processes and procedures to ensure efficiency in the delivery of public services.

E.Key Outputs of Unit

The key outputs of a unit enumerate the actual services and products that the Unit produces or delivers to its public or clientele. The actual tangible results of the activities of a unit comprise its key outputs.

F.Communication Systems and Mechanisms

 This section describes how the unit coordinates its activities and communicates issues and concerns with stakeholders. Official protocols may be prescribed by Department directives or the practices developed by the unit. Physical, administrative and technological infrastructure as well as organizational practices is included in this section.

G.Location of Files and Resources

A description of the filing system, the labeling system and an inventory of files and their location are included in this section. Aside from files, property, equipment and supplies of the unit are also inventoried

 H.Contact Information of Internal and External Stakeholders

Contact information of internal and external stakeholder include clients, suppliers, public and private agencies and Institutions as well as other Department functional positions with whom the Unit conducts its business.

 I.Compilation of Institutional Policies

All relevant legislation and institutional rules and regulations as well as administrative directives and guidelines are compiled in this section. Institutional policies prescribe the parameters of the activities of the unit. Units shall keep scanned electronic copies of institutional policies for easy access and portability. An index of institutional rules and regulations shall also be created for this purpose.

 J.Unit Tasks and Job Descriptions (Identify essential competencies and functions)

The qualification and requirements of the position are described in this section. The functions of the position are also detailed. Performance levels and expectations from the supervising authority can also be stated in this section. A cascaded mission statement and objectives within a set time frame may also be included.

Functions, activities, projects, programs, duties and responsibilities are detailed in this section. Unit Tasks are generic descriptive functions of an official position. A unit’s task may also differ at any given time or circumstance.

 K.Complaints, Feedback Mechanisms and Emergency Situations

Complaints can come from internal as well as external stakeholders. The response of the unit to the complaint needs to be documented and an appropriate response whether mandated by law, the Department rules and regulations or by practice of the unit should be described. The complaint can be in written or verbal form.

Feedback mechanism allows improvements in the system and ensures integrity in the operations of the unit. Feedback should also be documented and be incorporated into the Operations Manual following prescribed protocols. Feedback can be actively sought or passively received.

An emergency situation occurs when there is an urgency to act in a situation that goes beyond the norm and routine operations of the unit or when there is a systems failure. The response of the unit to an emergency needs to be also documented for lessons learned and to provide inputs for improvements in the delivery of service. Administrative guidelines and protocols need to be also outlined to guide the response of the unit.

 L.Disaster Recovery Plan

In the event of a disaster or systems failure, the unit needs to institute mechanisms to ensure that delivery of service can be immediately reactivated in case of stoppages. This section outlines the administrative guidelines to respond to a disaster, operational stoppages or a systems failure.

 M.Security Plan

 This section provides a guideline on how to keep personnel, records and property safe within the unit

 N.Waste and Energy Management Plan

Guidelines on the maintenance and conservation of resource inputs in the production of the work output of the unit are outlined in this section. Minimizing the generation of waste, its proper disposal and plans for its reuse, recycling or repurposing of certain resources for disposal are included in this section. Plans and guidelines for efficient and optimum energy use are described in this section. Documenting best practices and Department and government directives are compiled in this section.

O.Training and Education

This section outlines the skills and competencies required by Unit personnel in the performance of their tasks and the corresponding training and education to be undertaken by the Unit personnel to meet the expectations of the position.

P.Administrative sanctions

Violations or non-compliance with protocols established in the duly approved Operations Manual will be dealt with in accordance with established Department and Civil Service, and other applicable government rules and regulations.

Section 4. Coverage

The institution of Operations Manuals is applicable to all Foreign Service Posts, Regional Consular Offices, Extension Offices and Home Office Units of the Department. The Head of Office Unit are responsible for the documentation and submission of an Operations Manual to their respective oversight office, the Office of the Undersecretary for Administration (OUA), the Office of Personnel and Administrative Services (OPAS) and Internal Audit Service (IAS).

Section 5. Implementation

All functional positions in a unit shall keep a record of their processes and procedures including time frames and collate them as part of the Operations Manual

All units shall submit their draft Operations Manual to OUA and IAS for review within 3 months and upon receipt of the duly signed Department Order.

The Office of the Undersecretary for Administration (OUA), Internal Audit Service (IAS) and all concerned offices shall approve the draft Operations Manual within a month of receipt of the document.

Once approved, the manual shall be disseminated to all officers or staff of the office/unit to fully apprise them of their responsibilities and liabilities for non-compliance.

The Operations Manual shall be updated and reviewed annually by the Unit concerned or as frequently as necessary. Changes to the Operations Manual should be submitted to the Supervising Office/s for review and approval.

The Operations Manual will form part of the Pre-Departure and Post – Arrival Orientation Seminars of the Unit for incoming and outgoing personnel and shall be distributed to personnel during these orientation seminars.

Departures from the protocols indicated in the Operations Manual should be documented and reported to the supervising authority. [Amendments in the Operations Manual should also be reported to supervising office/s of the unit in a timely manner.]

Unless classified as restricted by supervising authorities, the Operations Manual is to be made accessible to the public and Clients being served.

Section 6. Custody of Documents.

Duly signed and certified copies of the Operations Manual are to be kept in the custody of the Records Officer, Administrative Officer of Unit/Agency/Office and the Supervising Office/Unit and IAS.

Adherence to the unit’s Operations Manual will serve as an objective basis for the performance audit of Unit and the performance appraisal report at the functional level unit. 

Section 7. Administrative Liability

Any violation or non-compliance with this Order shall be considered a serious offense and shall be punishable in accordance with civil service rules and regulations. Further, pursuant to existing rules and regulations, the filing of an administrative case against any erring personnel or officer does not preclude the filing of any other appropriate criminal or civil case for the same violation/s.

Section 8. Repealing Clause.

All Department Orders, circulars and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Order are hereby repealed or amended accordingly.

Section 9. Effectivity Clause

This order shall take effect fifteen (15) days from the date of its filing with the University of the Philippines Law Center. 


   Secretary of Foreign Affairs


Pasay City, 02 January 2012


DFA Department Order No. 01-12: January 2, 2012

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