20 Filipino gov’t officials to study in Japan under a scholarship grant

admin   •   July 10, 2017   •   7975

MANILA, Philippines — The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) recognizes the role that the human capital plays in accomplishing government projects.

That’s why the agency believes that overseas learning opportunities for Filipinos, especially in technologically advanced countries like Japan, are a big help.

“We hope that through the signing of the grant agreement for the JDS project, we will be able to further strengthen our institutions by producing highly skilled graduates capable of making immediate positive impact in their respective agencies,” NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.

This morning, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a 264-million yen (approximately 117million pesos) Japan Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) Project with NEDA.

The grant aims to help build the capacity and skills of young Filipino leaders and let them share what they have learned for the country’s development.

This year, 20 government officials will have the opportunity to take post-graduate courses in some of Japan’s top universities including International University of Japan, Kobe University, Meiji University at Nagoya University, among others.

Meanwhile, JICA boasts of its Filipino scholars who now hold key positions in the government and already made contributions in their agencies.

JICA also hopes to mutually benefit from the Philippines by learning also from the country’s universities.

JICA Philippines chief representative, Susumo Ito said, “We really hope that the JDS scholars will learn not only the area studies but also Japan’s economic development experiences.”

“Japan also hopes to learn from the Philippines’ development experiences through this exchange of knowledge,” said Ito.

To date, 259 Filipinos have benefitted from the JDS Project. — Leslie Longboen | UNTV News & Rescue

 

South Korea to scrap intelligence-sharing pact with Japan amid history feud

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

South Korea’s deputy director of the National Security Council (NSC), Kim You-Geun | Courtesy: Reuters

South Korea said on Thursday (August 22) it will scrap an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, a decision that could further escalate a dispute over history and trade and undercut security cooperation on North Korea.

The decision was announced after an hours-long debate within the presidential National Security Council (NSC).

Japan created a “grave change” in the environment for bilateral security cooperation by removing South Korea’s fast-track export status, citing security concerns without providing clear evidence, said Kim You-geun, a deputy director of the National Security Council.

The General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) was due to be automatically renewed on Saturday (August 24), unless either side decided to cancel it. (Reuters)

(Production: Dogyun Kim, Minwoo Park)

NEDA urges Congress to pass 2020 budget before year ends

Robie de Guzman   •   August 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Thursday urged Congress to pass the P4.1 trillion proposed national budget on-time before the year ends to ensure the country’s economic growth.

NEDA director-general Ernesto Pernia made the call when he attended the first day of budget hearings by the House Committee on Appropriations earlier.

READ: House begins 2020 budget hearings

NEDA’s Pernia and other officials from the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) presented their budget proposals before the committee.

The Duterte administration’s economic managers expressed hope that the budget bill will be passed on time to meet the country’s economic target of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent for this year up to 2020.

“We need at least 6.4 percent of economic growth for the second half of the year to meet our target of 6 percent in 2019. That is why we are hoping for a timely passage of the 2020 national budget so as not to derail next year’s economic growth,” Pernia said.

The NEDA official stressed the immediate approval of the budget to prevent the country’s economic growth from slowing down like what happened when the passage of the 2019 national budget got stalled due to alleged illegal fund insertions.

House leaders shared the NEDA chief’s sentiments and assured to endeavor the members to pass the budget at the right time.

House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez earlier said they are looking to hold marathon sessions for the proposed 2020 General Appropriations Act to ensure that it will be approved by October this year.

READ: House eyes holding marathon 2020 budget hearings

The lawmaker said the early passage will give the Senate ample time to scrutinize the budget approved by the House.

“Hopefully we can have a bicameral conference by early December, then approve the 2020 national budget before the year ends,” he said.

Romualdez also said that by September 12, the lower chamber would hold sessions on Thursdays and Fridays, past the regular schedule of Monday to Wednesday.

He added that the plenary session was also moved from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to give way to four budget hearings scheduled by the appropriations committee. (RRD with details from Joan Nano)

Japan, South Korea, China vow to address diplomatic issues at trilateral summit

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

(L-R) Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono speaking at trilateral summit, commenting on diplomatic issues between three countries| Courtesy: Reuters

China, Japan and South Korea foreign ministers on Wednesday (August 21) vowed to address diplomatic issues at a trilateral summit.

Ties between Japan and South Korea were arguably at their lowest ebb since their relationship was normalized in 1965, hit by a heated feud over the issue of South Korean forced labour during World War Two, which spilled over into a bitter tit-for-tat trade row.

During a joint statement given by all three foreign ministers, South Korea’s Kang Kyung-wha said that the three countries should “remember to face history” and remove “retaliatory trade measures,” a clear jab at recent measures taken by Japan to remove it from its “white list” of trade partners.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono shied away from commenting directly on the strain with South Korea, instead saying that all three countries should “work closely” in light of diplomatic “difficulties”.

China’s Wang Yi, following Kono’s words, said that China “hopes” Japan and South Korea will take the opportunity to manage their differences constructively during the summit.

This is the ninth such trilateral foreign ministers meeting, the last being three years ago.

From 2008, the three countries had agreed to hold a summit every year to foster regional cooperation. But bilateral tension, including that between China and Japan, has often intervened. (Reuters)

(Production: Wang Shubing, Joseph Campbell, Hyunyoung Yi, Kwiyeon Ha)

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