March 18, 2019
Young Filipino scholars from several government agencies in the Philippines are taking cue from the Japanese work ethic and governance system.
The scholars – Mae Richelle Belmes, Rafael Guerrero, and Genevieve Gamueta – were among the recipients of the Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship or JDS meant to support the Philippines' human resource development efforts towards nation building.
The three scholars, from the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and City Government of Davao, respectively, said their scholarship gave them opportunities to learn from the Japanese work ethic and attention to detail in designing and implementing programs for their citizens.
Belmes, 36, pursuing her master's in public administration in International Christian University (ICU), said "The scholarship brought me great opportunities that widened my perspective and critical understanding on social issues and public policies. With my learnings and experiences in Japan, I wish to become more effective in implementing mandates and policies of my agency upon my return to the Philippines. Focusing my study on the Dap-ay system of governance that entails collective democracy—empowering people towards collective action and maximizing every human potential for the common welfare, I became more judicious in utilizing various social dynamics to manage election and ensure electoral security."
Meanwhile, Guerrero, 25, who is taking up the same course in ICU, added that his study experience in Japan is helping him develop his leadership skills and understand better political and international issues. "Japan places importance on planning and designs their programs with citizens as customers in mind. I hope that when I go back to the Philippines, I'd be able to share this experience in my department and contribute to providing an environment where citizens can make better choices and are able to realize their full potential as nation-builders," he said.
Another JDS scholar Gamueta who studies public policy at Japan's National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) shared that she will apply her course in developing a barangay financial management system for Davao. "Seeing Japan makes me aspire for bigger things for the Philippines. I'd like to contribute to introducing innovations I saw in Japan when it comes to revenue collection, for example."
The three scholars left in 2017 and 2018 for their studies in Japan. The JDS program is among the assistance of JICA to develop leaders from various fields and contribute to human resource development of partner countries. "For Japan, education and human resource development became the foundation that led to the economic achievements we have until today. We like to encourage the recipients of our scholarship in the Philippines to make full use of their studies in Japan to give back to their country and contribute to their respective government agencies," said JICA Chief Representative in the Philippines Yoshio Wada.
Since the launch of the JDS in the Philippines in 1999, more than 300 Filipinos have received the scholarship.
Belmes (second from left) and Guerrero (second from right) gather with their fellow JDS scholars at International Christian University
JDS scholar Gamueta (left) discussing with Professor Akira Nakamura (right) at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies