JICA scholars from DOE and DENR to make impact in renewable energy and mining industries
The Philippines is carving its niche in renewable energy (RE) and mining sectors in the coming years with scholarship programs under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
JICA recently dispatched three Filipino scholars under its Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP) offering post-graduate studies in Japan in said vital sectors to Philippine economy.
“This is our way of sharing our knowledge and experience through the Official Development Assistance (ODA) where we help partner countries such as the Philippines in developing its human resources. Through the JICA scholarships, these individuals who are future leaders in their field can contribute to their home countries’ development and prosperity utilizing their research and knowledge gained from Japan’s experience and expertise,” said JICA Senior Representative IDE Soichiro.
The JICA Human Resources Development for Electricity and Energy Sector or Energy Policy Program aims to support the development of the country’s energy system. Filipino scholar, Joric Timothy Alimon, a Science Research Specialist at the Department of Energy (DOE) Renewable Energy Management Bureau, said his participation in JICA's Energy Policy Program is crucial for policy issues related to the Philippines' RE program.
“The National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) aims to achieve 35% RE share in the power generation mix by 2030 and 50% by 2040. Being part of the JICA scholarship program will provide a global context of the energy industry in terms of making policies and action plans to reach those targets,” he shared. Alimon will be taking up one-year Master’s Program in Public Policy at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS).
Already, there are various laws that back up the Philippines’ RE development, namely DOE Act of 1992 that provides for preferential bias for environment-friendly, indigenous, and low-cost sources of energy; Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 that also supports RE in lieu of imported energy; as well as Renewable Act of 2008 citing incentives in RE. As of December 2022, the Philippine RE share is 29% of installed capacity, and 22% of gross power generation.
Meanwhile, two Filipinos from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) are also embarking on a scholarship from JICA, specifically the Human Resources Development for Governmental Officers and Researchers in Mineral Resources Rich Countries or KIZUNA Program. The KIZUNA program aims to develop human resources for government officials and researchers in mineral resources-rich countries, like the Philippines, offering study opportunities in Japan, economic geology, exploration geophysics, resources production, safety engineering, and energy resources engineering.
Notably, Japan’s mining sector has plenty to offer to the world, including the knowledge and technical capacities it acquired since its modernization during the Meiji Era (19th century).
Filipino scholar April Perillo, Supervising Geologist at the DENR-MGB Region V said, “The KIZUNA program is an opportunity to study how we can elevate to international standards our mining industry. She shared, “I’m looking forward to learning from Japan how we can improve in analyzing geochemical data from the surveys we do on mineral exploration.”
Perillo was accepted as a research student for Master’s Degree in the Department of Earth Resource Science, Faculty of International Resource Sciences in Akita University, while another scholar from DENR-MGB Region III, Stephanie Ivy Luna, who was accepted as a research student for Doctoral Degree in the Graduate School of Engineering in Kyushu University said, “The KIZUNA Program would support me in advancing new learnings, discoveries, and systems from Japan that I could apply in DENR.”
Alimon is the 4th Filipino scholar from DOE who will participate in the Energy Policy Program. Meanwhile Perillo and Luna are the 3rd and 4th KIZUNA scholars from the Philippines, respectively.
The Philippines is the largest recipient of JICA programs in Southeast Asia amounting to JPY 418 billion in JFY2022. JICA’s scholarship programs have sent Filipinos to train or study in Japan in various fields, cementing the partnership of Japan and the Philippines in capacity development of human resources.
JICA Senior Representative IDE Soichiro gives his remarks during the meeting with the KIZUNA and Energy Policy Scholars.
Mr. Alimon presents an overview of activities in the Philippine energy sector.
Ms. Luna shares her expectations on the KIZUNA program.
Ms. Perillo shares her targets in utilizing her learnings from Japan.