The governments of Japan and Philippines on Monday signed a ¥264 million grant for skills and capacity-building for Filipino professionals.
The Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) was signed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the National Economic and Development Authority in Pasig City.
Twenty Filipinos working in government agencies will take post-graduate courses in Japan’s leading universities, such as the International University of Japan, Kobe University, Meiji University, International Christian University, and Nagoya University.
The scholars will focus on subjects relevant to the socioeconomic agenda of the Philippines. They will attend lectures and leadership trainings on Japan’s development experience and emerging development issues. Among the post-graduate courses the scholars will take are infrastructure and industry development, public policy, financial reforms, and small and medium enterprise promotion.
The Philippines, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos are the top recipients of Japan’s scholarship project implemented in 14 countries.
A number of Filipino JDS scholars now hold key positions in government as experts in their respective fields. They are among the 259 Filipinos who have so far benefitted from the JDS.
Investing in human capital development is part of the 10-point economic agenda of the Duterte administration.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 talks about a strengthened civil service with enhanced labor capacities and improved service delivery through human capital development as an accelerator of innovation and inclusive economic prosperity in the country.
“The Duterte Administration’s Six-Point Peace and Development agenda, on the other hand, emphasizes the need to strengthen government development institutions and mechanisms to increase their responsiveness to issues faced by the country today,” Pernia said during the ceremony.
He pointed out that human resources play a central role in the success of government undertakings as the implementation of projects would require a pool of skilled and knowledgeable human capital, exposed to the best technologies and practices in the world.
“We hope that through the signing of the new Grant Agreement for the JDS Project, we will be able to further strengthen our institutions by producing highly skilled graduates capable of making immediate positive impact in their respective agencies upon their return after a couple of years of study in Japan,” he said.
JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito said Japan values its relationship with the Philippines and fully supports efforts to build the people’s capacity, particularly of Filipino professionals working in government.
“Historically, Japan’s economic resurgence depended on education and human resource development among other factors. We aim to continue sharing Japan’s accumulated knowledge and expertise as well as the challenges we face with our partner countries like the Philippines to promote inclusive development,” he said.
Filipino JDS scholars, Ito said, are also ambassadors in their own way, “representing the long-standing relations between JICA and the Philippines.”