SECTION 1. Declaration of Policy.—The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other states the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination.
SECTION 2. Mandate.—The Department shall be the lead agency that shall advise and assist the President in planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and evaluating the total national effort in the field of foreign relations.
SECTION 3. Powers and Functions.—To carry out its mandate and accomplish its mission, the Department shall:
(1) Conduct the country’s foreign relations;
(2) Maintain and develop the country’s representation with foreign governments;
(3) Conduct Philippine representation in the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and other international and regional organizations;
(4) Serve as the channel for matters involving foreign relations, including official communications to and from the Republic of the Philippines;
(5) Negotiate treaties and other agreements pursuant to instructions of the President, and in coordination with other government agencies;
(6) Promote trade, investments, tourism and other economic relations with other countries in cooperation with other government agencies;
(7) Foster cultural relations with other countries and protect and enhance the Philippines’ image abroad;
(8) Undertake efforts to inform the international community about the Philippines in cooperation with other government agencies;
(9) Protect and assist Philippine nationals abroad;
(10) Carry out legal documentation functions as provided for by law and regulations;
(11) Monitor and analyze events in other countries and report them, as appropriate, to the President and other government agencies;
(12) Initiate, formulate, integrate and submit to the President short, medium, and long-range foreign policy plans and programs in cooperation with other government agencies;
(13) Supervise and direct officials and employees assigned by the Department and other government agencies to Foreign Service establishments abroad in accordance with the pertinent laws, rules and inter-agency agreements;
(14) Recruit, maintain and develop a professional career foreign service based on merit; and
(15) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.
SECTION 4. Organizational Structure.—The Department shall have the following units:
(1) The Department Proper which shall be composed of the Office of the Secretary, the Offices of the Undersecretaries, the Offices of the Assistant Secretaries, and the Home Offices;
(2) The Foreign Service Establishments which are the Philippine Embassies, Consulates, Legations and Permanent Missions.