October 12, 2022
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) declared its commitment in delivering Official Development Assistance (ODA) to boost human resource development in the Philippine government as JICA marks the 20th year of its Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship or JDS project.
Even since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, JICA has allocated 666-million yen for JDS to finance the studies of Filipino government personnel in Japan's leading universities like International University of Japan, Kobe University, Meiji University, International Christian University, and The University of Japan to name a few.
JICA Chief Representative to the Philippines SAKAMOTO Takema said, "The most important thing in the world is people. JICA and the Philippines should be rightly proud of how far our people-to-people exchange have come. Twenty successful years of JDS is not an easy feat yet here we are celebrating such remarkable milestone. "
"Fellows play a significantly big role in furthering of this relationship - bridging our two cultures together and making the best use of Japanese education to make a difference in the life of every Filipino," added SAKAMOTO.
Historically, Japan's economic resurgence can be traced back to its human development efforts. Young Japanese professionals went overseas to study and returned to Japan to share their knowledge and expertise. With education as their foundation as well as human resource development and shift to industrial and service sectors in the ‘70s, Japan became the first non-Western country to succeed at industrialization.
The Philippines is among Japan's top partners when it comes to scholarships, along with China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos. Already, some 42,000 Filipinos have benefited from JICA scholarships and training programs.
Boris Pascudillo, one of the first recipients of the scholarship from batch 1, said "The JDS is a journey that does not stop after graduation. We aspire to become a formalized network that provides people-centered and future-oriented development work to our country."
On the JDS Project's 20th Anniversary in the Philippines, JICA, in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) and the JICA Alumni Association of the Philippines (JAAP), spearheaded a two-day event starting with an online conference entitled "Harnessing Knowledge and Experience to Navigate the Next Normal" featuring research works of past JDS scholars in the fields of women in peacebuilding under UN Resolution 1325, health policymaking, e-commerce and MSMEs, and sustainable tourism.
In culmination, a prestigious fellowship and networking event among JDS scholars was held at Japanese Ambassador's residence to reconnect and reminisce the successes and achievements of the scholarship for the past two decades. Joining the scholars were Japan Ambassador to the Philippines KOSHIKAWA Kazuhiko, JICA Chief SAKAMOTO, and the members of the Operating Committee from the National Economic and Development Authority and the Civil Service Commission.
JICE also published this year "Contemporary Development Issues in the Philippines: Lessons from JDS Fellows". You may download the ebook here: https://jds-scholarship.org/country/philippines/alumni_activity.html?fbclid=IwAR3CoEuCEGMTelHDa4Y66Dm6hM8vhqa0mMeJxQa5Mkq0ndhoBKdRZD7FjxQ (external link)
Figure JDS Scholars pose with Japan Ambassador KOSHIKAWA and JICA Chief SAKAMOTO during the fellowship and networking event