Sunday, April 14, 2019 12:00 AM    Views : 1477by:Lyn Resurreccion


The team from Japan International Cooperation Agency received several Development Aid Agency Partner awards during the Mission: PHL Envoys&Expats Recognition Awards on April 4. They are (from left) Jica Philippines Senior Representative Kiyo Kawabuchi, Senior Program Officer Kessy Reyes (for Science, Technology and Innovation), Senior Program Officer Joan Salapare (for Trade and Investment), Chief Representative Yoshio Wada (Development Aid Partner of the Year), Section Chief Leah Peñarroyo (for Infrastructure Support) and Senior Program Officer Patrick San Juan (for Transportation Infrastructure).

The Embassy of the United Kingdom (UK) in the Philippines and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) were recognized for their support to science, technology and innovation in the Philippines during the BusinessMirror’s Mission: PHL Envoys&Expats Awards held at the SM Aura Premier in Taguig City on April 4.

The UK Ambassador Daniel Pruce received the Embassy Science, Technology and Innovation Award, while Jica’s Senior Program Officer Kessy Reyes received the Development Aid Agency Partner for Science, Technology and Innovation Award. Their respective trophies were handed by Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña.

altBritish Ambassador Daniel Pruce (right) and Newton Agham Programme Strategic Manager Karen Hipol (left), receive the Science, Technology and Innovation Award from Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña during the BusinessMirror’s Mission: PHL Envoys&Expats Awards.

The UK Embassy was awarded in recognition of the UK government’s work with the Philippines on collaborative projects on science and technology, and the noteworthy contributions made to improve the lives and future of the Filipino people.

Pruce said, “Science, technology and innovation play a crucial role in developing transformative solutions to address the concerns in health, environmental resilience, food security, and other challenges that affect the well-being of communities in the Philippines and the region.”

He added: “Addressing these concerns is the main intent and ambition of the Newton Agham Programme, while also enabling deeper partnerships and collaboration among British and Filipino scientists and innovators.”

Reyes, who received the award on behalf of Jica Philippines, said “Jica’s cooperation with the DOST through our Science and Technology Cooperation celebrates the win-win partnership between Japanese and Philippine research institutions in wide areas, such as disaster management, marine and coastal protection, among others.”

He acknowledged the DOST “for nominating us for this award,” the BusinessMirror for recognition and Jica’s “government partners for your continued trust and support to Jica.”

Mission: PHL Envoys&Expats Awards was organized by the BusinessMirror to generate public understanding and appreciation for nations and development aid partners. It awarded several embassies, and bilateral and multilateral aid agencies in recognition of their contributions to the country’s economic growth, social progress, peace, security and stability through their partnerships with various government agencies.

UK’s Newton Agham

The UK government launched the Newton Fund in 2014, a £735-million fund to support science and innovation partnerships with a number of emerging knowledge economies.

Locally known as the Newton Agham (Science) Programme, the UK government works collaboratively with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Agriculture and the Commission on Higher Education, to implement programs that strengthen science and innovation capacity.

Philippine government partners provide co-funding and steer to the Philippine Newton activities.

The impact of one of the joint programs, Newton Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (LIF), was also highlighted in an Impact Assessment report presentation and roundtable discussion held on April 4 in Pasay City.

LIF provides focused training to Filipino researchers and technology transfer officers to promote entrepreneurship and help translate their technology to benefit people and communities.

Training is provided by UK and Philippine expert mentors to support the development of their various innovations aimed at addressing Philippine social and economic challenges, including promoting better health, food security and tackling water pollution.

The report highlighted the impact on the Filipino innovator’s skills, the advancement of each individual-technology project, and the broader impacts on the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in the Philippines.

The LIF program is delivered by the UK Royal Academy of Engineering in partnership with the Philippine DOST and the Asian Institute of Management.

The impact of the Newton projects will be further recognized through the Newton Prize 2019, a £1-million (P68 million) award which recognizes excellent science research and innovation in support of economic development and social welfare in Newton Fund partner countries.

The Philippines, together with China and Indonesia, has been selected for the Newton Prize 2019. All current and past recipients of the Newton Grant may apply for a prize of between £50,000 and £200,000. The deadline for Part A applications is on April 19.

Jica in development cooperation

Besides its award for Science, Technology and Innovation, and the Development Aid Partner of the Year, Jica also received awards for being the Development Aid Agency in Trade and Investment; Infrastructure Support; and Transportation Infrastructure.

In his acceptance speech for the Development Aid Partner of the Year Award, Jica Chief Representative Yoshio Wada said, “What truly sets Jica’s development cooperation activities apart is how we also try to promote self-reliance among our partner countries like the Philippines by sharing Japanese know-how and expertise. Japan’s economic success as a nation did not happen overnight. We also learned from other nations, and adopted values and systems that could work in Japan. We are sharing the same with the Philippines and we are honored to work with our counterpart government agencies and local communities all these years.

Jica is the executing agency of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the Philippines. Jica implements about 90 development cooperation projects nationwide anchored on three assistance pillars: achieving sustainable economic growth, overcoming vulnerability, and peace and development in Mindanao. 

Jica is one of the Philippines’s biggest development partners, with total commitment for ongoing ODA loan projects amounting to ¥897 billion.

The Mission: PHL Awards recognized Jica and its projects as important contributors to economic growth, social progress, peace, security and stability. 

Jica has also provided many opportunities to Filipinos to further their learning and development through trainings or study opportunities in Japan. Its training program for young leaders benefited some 3,000 Filipinos over the years.

“We truly value our relationship and friendship with the Philippines. We look forward to deepening our partnership with the Philippines in the years to come,” Wada added


S & T Trivia

" In 1971, a team was led by Dr. Emerita V. de Guzman in making the first makapuno (coconut mutant for delicacies) harvest from a test tube. A student at the University of Santo Tomas named Teodula K. Africa made the first nata de coco (fermented coconut gelatin) in 1979. "

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