The Philippines – Japan Fellows Association PHILJAFA and Japan International Cooperation Agency convened recently in Cagayan de Oro City at the Grand Caprice, Limketkai Complex. The special organizational meeting and agency visit is intended to gather and convene JICA alumni for updates and monitoring of achievements after their return home. PhilJaFa aim to further strengthen the involvement of these ex-participants for the development of human resources in their respective agencies/region through utilization of their skills acquired from their training and studies in Japan. The organizational meeting created new chapters that will serve as monitoring centers for both JICA and PHILJAFA.
Briefly, The founding and establishment of (PHILJAFA) was conceptualized in 1964 through the efforts of a group of administrators and professors from the Philippine College for Arts and Trades (PCAT) now the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP). This group of technical men, who were recipients of technical training programs in Japan, formed a cohesive organization upon the request of high officials of the former Overseas Technical Cooperation Agency (OTCA) now the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The first OTCA Alumni Association in the A
sian countries was thus established through the leadership of Mr. Yasushi Muro and Mr. Tosho Ohiro. It was then named as the PCAT-COLOMBO Plan (Japan) Scholars Association.
The Philippines-Japan Fellows Association (PHILJAFA) was formally organized in 1966. This was the year when the Constitution and by-laws of PHILJAFA was crafted by a group of ex-JICA participants mostly lawyers and officials coming from various government agencies, namely: the Office of the President of the Philippines, Department of Justice, National Bureau of Investigation and the National Economic and Development Authority.
A PHILJAFA awardee for Public Administration in 2002 – 35th founding Anniversary, NSO 10 Regional Director Dr. Salvador A. Aves, gave the welcome address on the occasion. PHILJAFA management team includes Ms. Hilda O. Ballesfin, chief of the National Statistics Office’s Human Resource Management Division, and PHILJAFA Treasurer. A yearly NSO activity, the Philippine Statistical Quiz was co- sponsored by PHILJAFA, held in Manila last November 2009.
From its original membership of less than fifty in 1966, the PHILJAFA continued to grow to its present membership of 8,894 (as of May 2004).
A Chapter for Northern Mindanao – Japan Fellows Association was established on the event and the set of officers for NORMIN – JAFA, were sworn in by PHILJAFA Chairman of the Board Atty. Ernesto P. Martinez. (In photo, R to L) NSO 10 RD Dr. Salvador A. Aves, President, Vice-President: NEDA Engr. Alan Olavides; Secretary, NSO 10 Statistician, Dr. Janith C. Aves,; Treasurer, Ms. Shirly Mae B. Serate of DBP; Business Manager, Ms. Ma. Cristina I. Gabia of DTI; Press Relation Officers, Ms. Algemrgy B. Cuerquez of NEDA and Ms. Mercelita J. Labial of XU.