' Department of Foreign Affairs
) (Filipino: Kagawaran ng Ugnayang Panlabas
) is the executive department
of the Philippine government
tasked to contribute to the enhancement of national security
and the protection of the territorial integrity and national sovereignty, to participate in the national endeavor of sustaining development and enhancing the Philippines' competitive edge, to protect the rights and promote the welfare of Filipinos overseas and to mobilize them as partners in national development, to project a positive image of the Philippines, and to increase international understanding of Philippine culture for mutually-beneficial relations with other countries.
The Department of Foreign Affairs was created on June 23, 1898 through a decree of Emilio Aguinaldo
, who appointed Apolinario Mabini
as the Philippines’s first Secretary of Foreign Affairs. In effect, the DFA became the first government department to be established following the proclamation of the First Philippine Republic in Malolos City
. Realizing the need for international recognition to support the legitimacy of his government, Aguinaldo assigned Mabini the difficult task of establishing diplomatic relations with friendly countries. Members of the Hong Kong
Junta, a group of Filipino exiles in Hong Kong, served as the country’s envoys for this purpose.
During the period when the Philippines was a colony of the United......