Senator Legarda: women-led foreign service must serve as a beacon guiding and influencing civil service


PASAY CITY, PH — Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda spoke at an event hosted by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) at the Carlos P. Romulo Library of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for members of the Diplomatic Corp, DFA, FSI personnel, and the academic community.

In her speech, Legarda highlighted three fields of study—technology, evolution, and gender—to inform and prioritize policy. She emphasized their potential to change the policymaking landscape and drive innovation in all government programs.

Legarda said that technology should not merely be a driving force but an integral part of all decision-making processes. She also noted the dual aspects of promise and threat associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI), the challenges posed by computer learning and data analysis in shaping policy decisions, and the array of opportunities for problem-solving through innovation.

In addition, Legarda stressed the importance of bridging generational gaps and promoting innovative approaches through collaborative research, diplomatic training, cultural exchanges, cross-disciplinary global initiatives, and cooperation in disaster preparedness and response. She also touched on the significance of public diplomacy campaigns involving youth, media literacy, and mentorship in critical thinking.

In addressing the use of gender lens in policymaking, Legarda emphasized that “we must not think of gender as a separate field” since it transcends all fields and said that foreign service is a vanguard in this area.

“It is only right to expect the highest levels of progressiveness in gender balance and seek as much inclusivity as possible in previously ignored fields,” she said. Quite apart from your regular duties, such as negotiating international agreements that touch on gender, the women-led foreign service must serve as a beacon guiding not just the DFA but also influencing the entire civil service to pursue excellence in highlighting the critical issues of our time.”

Finally, she encouraged active participation in discussions across various forums to contribute insights on the Philippines’ ongoing journey. At the same time, she emphasizes the challenge of mobilizing citizens to deliver quality education and address climate and biodiversity crises by integrating technology, evolution, and gender inclusiveness as crucial elements in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

FSI’s Partners’ Lecture Series is a platform launched by FSI in 2023 for heads of government agencies and other organizations to share knowledge, priorities, and advocacies with the DFA.

–With Ricky Rillera/PDM

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