Opening Remarks
Undersecretary Rolando G. Tungpalan

Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) Project
Send Off Celebration for the 15th Batch of JDS Fellows
10 August 2017, 10:00 AM-12:00NN
Chelsea & Tribeca, 3rd Floor, Astoria Plaza


Mr. Makoto Iyori, Minister for Economic Affairs of the Embassy of Japan;

Mr. Susumu Ito, Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency;

Mr. Julio Amador, Deputy Director-General of the Foreign Service Institute;

Other officials and staff of the Embassy of Japan, JICA and JICE;

My fellow workers in government;

JDS fellows; guests;

Good morning.

First of all, I would like to congratulate the 20 JDS fellows of the 15th batch present here today, who were accepted to various fields of study under the JDS two-year master’s degree program. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our friends from the Embassy of Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency for the unwavering support in the continued implementation of the JDS Project.

For close to two decades now, the Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) Project has greatly contributed to the development of human resources in the Philippines, particularly those engaged in the formulation and implementation of the Philippine Government’s social and economic development policies.

The goal of enhancing the capabilities of our government workers continues to be relevant to this day as it was more than 15 years ago when we were discussing with our Japanese partners the concept of the JDS. The Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 specifically highlights the role of a strengthened civil service with enhanced labor capacities and improved service delivery. Investing in human capital development in this aspect will lead to innovation and inclusive economic prosperity in the country.

Since the implementation of the Project in 2002, fourteen batches of JDS Fellows, or a total of 299 Filipinos were already sent to pursue graduate studies in various Japanese educational institutions. To date, 259 graduates have returned to the country to pursue their respective careers. Later this year, we expect the remaining JDS Fellows from the 13th batch to graduate and come back to their respective institutions or offices.

Today we bid well wishes to the 15th batch of 20 JDS fellows who are leaving for Japan on the 14th and 25th of August and 1st of September.

My dear scholars, passing a very tedious selection process is already an accomplishment by itself as this year’s JDS pool is one of the largest, if not the largest to date—with this year’s total application being 50 percent higher than the average for the last five years. I believe that with all the preparations you have gone through, you are all ready for dispatch to the “Land of the Rising Sun”. The challenge now is how you are going to put all the things you learned from these preparatory exercises to good use as you pursue your studies in some of Japan’s most prestigious education institutions.

This being said, I encourage you to make the most out of this opportunity and experience such that you will be better public servants upon your return to the Philippines. I encourage you to immerse yourselves in Japan’s rich culture and in turn, showcase to our Japanese friends the brand of resiliency, friendship, hospitality, and academic excellence humor the Filipinos, particularly the JDS fellows, are known for.

I trust that when you come back, you are more energized and armed with new skills to better serve the country.

In closing, on behalf of NEDA and the Philippine government, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Government of Japan for its continued assistance towards human resource development in the Philippines. We would also like to thank our partner agencies, the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Foreign Affairs, for your unwavering support in the successful conduct of the Project.

Again, to our scholars, congratulations and make our country proud!

Thank you and good morning.