June 21, 2017
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan's Saitama Prefecture have expanded human resource development training in universities in Cebu to help boost manufacturing industry and employability of Filipinos.
The training is part of JICA's on-going technical cooperation for grassroots projects (TCGP) introducing monozukuri or Japanese manufacturing philosophy initially in Cebu's University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR) and University of San Carlos and now Cebu Technological Institute (CTI).
As an outcome of the development cooperation, USJR has established a Monozukuri Institute to institutionalize monozukuri principles and facilitate hiring of students in Japanese companies. The Institute currently keeps records of all the trainees and lectures and other important monozukuri documents.
"JICA recognizes the importance of industry-academe-government linkages to develop human resources and support industrialization efforts. Through this development cooperation between Saitama Prefecture and Japanese universities (Toyo University and Shibaura Institute of Technology) and Cebu, we hope that more Filipinos will have better access to quality jobs and opportunities," said JICA Section Chief Flerida Chan.
To date, the project has trained 250 Filipino engineering students, some of which have been employed in Japanese companies in Cebu.
Monozukuri instills positive values such as responsibility and excellence among trainees regardless whether Japanese companies hire them or not.
Meantime, JICA added that the project complements the current Philippine government's socioeconomic priority of creating jobs and building the capacity of Filipino graduates.
The Saitama Prefecture is known for its successful implementation of the monozukuri approach in its manufacturing practices. Many of its young employees are proactive and committed to constantly raising the level of quality in their work.
Saitama has the fifth highest GDP, at JPY 20,678 billion in 2013 in all of 47 prefectures of Japan, based on Cabinet Office, Government of Japan data.
Aside from training Filipino students on Japanese techniques and standards, JICA has supported the Philippines' human resource development through a senior high school modeling project with DepEd that assisted the country's implementation of technical vocational education track under the K+12 program.