PH, Japan sign P117-M scholarship deal for Filipino gov't employees

MANILA, Philippines – For the 15th year, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) again granted the Philippines ¥264 million (P117.55 million) in aid for human resource development of Filipino government employees.

"What we tend to forget is that human capital development, also called human infrastructure, is critical to development; and yet it is far less expensive so we should invest more in human capital than what we have been doing," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremonial signing in Pasig City on Monday, July 10.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), led by Pernia, represented the Philippine government during the signing.

Under the grant aid, 20 Filipinos working in government agencies will take post-graduate courses in Japan's leading universities such as the International University of Japan, Kobe University, Meiji University, International Christian University, and Nagoya University.

The Filipino scholars will take studies relevant to the socioeconomic agenda of the Philippines as well as attend lectures and leadership trainings on Japan's development experience and emerging development issues.

Among the courses the chosen scholars will take are infrastructure and industry development, public policy, financial reforms, as well as promotion of small and medium enterprises. (READ: PH's longest railway to get funding from Japan, possibly China)

For JICA chief representative to the Philippines Susumo Ito, the partnership signifies Japan's continuous commitment to support the Philippines.

"We value our relationship with the Philippines and fully support the government's efforts to build the capacity of its people, particularly Filipino professionals working in government," Ito said during the ceremony.

The Philippines has been one of the top recipients of Japan's scholarship project. Others include China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

Since 2002, 259 Filipinos have received the Japanese scholarship.

Investing in human capital development is part of the 10-point socioeconomic agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration. – Rappler.com

P1 = ¥2.245