Capitol, Saitama eye more exchanges

The Cebu Provincial Government and Saitama Prefecture eyed more exchanges after the Saitama-Cebu Comprehensive HR Monozukuri Project.

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale mentioned the idea of establishing sisterhood ties between the two provinces. She said this in a Capitol hosted dinner for the Japanese delegation last May 12.

The Japanese experts were here to conduct the five-day Intensive Course A training to 100 engineering students in Cebu. It was the first training course given under the two-year and four-month Saitama-Cebu Comprehensive HR Monozukuri Project.

Both Capitol and Saitama officials looked at the project as a gateway for more friendly cooperation between the two provinces, and between Japan and Philippines.

Delegation head Kimio Wada refused to directly answer Vice Gov. Magpale’s suggestion. He did not reject it, either.

“Right now, we just want the project to succeed. From there, we can expand it to more projects like in the economic sector,” he explained.

Wada is an associate director for the International Division of Saitama Prefectural Government’s Department of Services. He represents Saitama Governor Kiyoshi Ueda whom Governor Hilario P. Davide III met in his study visit to Saitama in February.

After the governor, at least five Cebu students will also be given an opportunity to visit Saitama in October this year. This was announced after the Intensive Course A training was held at the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R).

USJ-R College of Engineering Dean Virgilio Abellana said the five students will be selected based on their performance and complete attendance.

In addition, the students must be graduating this next year . Engineering courses in Cebu are usually taken up in five years.

Abellana said the training will boost their resume if they want to work for Japanese industries.

One the participants said the training was “very comprehensive and inspiring.”

Edison Bacubos of the University of San Carlos (USC) said they were introduced to Japanese culture and principles of doing things such as “Kaizen” in the field of manufacturing industry.
He explained that it is a philosophy of continuous self-improvement.

“As you live, you continue to improve yourself because you don’t stop learning until you are 10 feet below the ground,” he said.

Fourth-year students like Bacubos are eligible to be part of the second batch to go to Japan come May 2015.

The project was funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency’s Technical Cooperation for Grassroots Projects. It is participated by various universities in Japan, including Toyo University, Nippon University, Saitama University, and Shibura Institute of Technology.