Filipino scholars hope to bring home lessons learned from Japanese education

Published March 22, 2019, 7:59 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Roy Mabasa

Work ethic became one of the foundations that led to the economic achievements of Japan until today.

Japan, through the Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship or JDS, has invited three young Filipino scholars from different government agencies in the Philippines to take a cue from the Japanese work ethic and governance system.

Japan International Cooperation Agency Chief Representative in the Philippines Yoshio Wada (JICA / MANILA BULLETIN)
Japan International Cooperation Agency Chief Representative in the Philippines Yoshio Wada (JICA / MANILA BULLETIN)

Chosen to participate in the JDS scholarship program were Mae Richelle Belmes of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Rafael Guerrero of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and Genevieve Gamueta of the City Government of Davao.

“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,” Japan International Cooperation Agency Chief Representative in the Philippines Yoshio Wada said in a statement distributed on Thursday.

The JDS program is among the assistance of JICA to develop leaders from various fields and contribute to human resource development of partner countries.

JICA said the three scholars left in 2017 and 2018 for their studies in Japan under the JDS program that is meant to support the Philippines’ human resource development efforts towards nation building.

Belmes, 36, who is pursuing her master’s in public administration in the International Christian University (ICU), said the scholarship program brought her great opportunities that widened her 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,” she said.

“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.”

Guerrero, 25, who is taking up the same course in ICU, said 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.

Meanwhile, Gamueta who studies public policy at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Japan vowed to apply her course in developing a barangay financial management system for Davao.

“Seeing Japan makes me aspire for bigger things for the Philippines,” she said, adding that she would like to contribute to introducing innovations that she saw in Japan when it comes to revenue collection.

The three scholars were one in saying that the JDS program gave them opportunities to learn from the Japanese work ethic and attention to detail in designing and implementing programs for their citizens.

More than 300 Filipinos have received the JDS scholarship since its inception in 1999.