Filipino Nurses and Care Workers Bound for Japan Finish 6-month Nihongo Training

After six months of intensive Japanese language study at NCF Manila, the 10th batch of Filipino nurses and care workers under the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) program will soon head for Japan to continue their language training for another six months, and then start work at Japanese hospitals and caregiving facilities. For this batch, a total of 109 completed the course.

Mr. Hiroaki Uesugi, Director of The Japan Foundation, Manila, opened the afternoon ceremony by congratulating the trainees and the staff for their efforts and cooperation in the grueling six months:

“Maligayang bati sa inyong matagumpay na pagtatapos sa training na ito. Congratulations! おめでとうございます. Likewise, I deeply appreciate the efforts and teamwork of the lecturers and staff members who have been trying hard to make this program the best.  To all concerned – congratulations for a job well done. お疲れさまでした。”

Mr. Uesugi also headed the Awarding of Certificates to the nurses and care workers, who were represented by Ms. Yvanjovi Ann Evangelista Ramos. In her speech, Ms. Ramos looked back at the effort they all put in the training and the hard work of the teachers and staff as well:

“I cannot believe that it has already been 6 months. As I look back at our time in NCF, so many words can describe the events and feelings. Not knowing a single word of Nihongo, we started learning Hiragana and Katakana, which we found so difficult to memorize at that time. As the days went by, the grammar and Kanji lectures became increasingly difficult to understand, but one step at a time, we succeeded with the help of our hardworking teachers who did their best to make each lesson enjoyable and easy to understand.”

Honorable guests who also gave their congratulatory remarks included Mr. Claro A. Arellano, Undersecretary, Department of Labor and Employment; Mr. Virgilio L. Carreon, Director, OIC- Director IV, Welfare and Employment Office, POEA; and Mr. Manabu Yasukawa, First Secretary, Labour Attaché, Embassy of Japan.  Head lecturer, Josef Orillo-sensei, gave the closing remarks and encouraged students to not just take what they learned in Nihongo, but also important things outside of the language:

“Also, take with you what you have learned outside of the language. The skills of self-evaluation, planning, and carrying out your self-studying, and use them for your continued advancement and learning, so you can be well prepared in the workplace and when the time comes to take the licensure examination in Japan. This is just the first step of your journey, and when you go to Japan for further training and future work, I am sure you will all discover more about yourselves and the strength you have as learners and professionals.

The 6-month course is part of the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to train Filipino healthcare workers in Japanese before they are assigned to different hospitals and caregiving facilities all over Japan. Aside from NCF Manila, two other institutions—TESDA and the Personal Ability Development Foundation, Inc. (PAD)—are conducting the preparatory language training including lectures about Japanese society, customs and manners, geography, and other topics related to general life in Japan.

Closing Ceremony Photos

Josef Orillo, Head Lecturer
Mr. Hiroaki Uesugi, Director, JFMO
Mr. Manabu Yasukawa, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan
Mr. Claro Arellano, USEC, DOLE
Mr. Virgilio Carreon, Director, POEA
Ms. Yvanjovi Ramos, Batch 10 Representative


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