3rd Japan-Philippines Symposium in Davao

Many people participated.
Our group was also quite prominent in the presentations and questions and answers.
I felt that many contents such as peacebuilding, poverty alleviation, and fair trade products were completed in a blink of an eye.

davao conference1

X3 (Expertise & Experience Exchanges) : The 3rd Philippine & Japan NGO International Symposium  on Social Development

25 – 27 August 2010

Villa Margarita Hotel, J.P. Laurel, Davao City


AM – Arrival and registration of Participants; lunch was served at 11:30 a.m.  The formal opening ceremonies then started at 1:00 p.m. with an Opening prayer, followed by the Philippine National Anthem.

1:00 p.m.

Ms. Sarah Redoblado of PhilSSA announced the formal opening of the afternoon session, by introducing the first speaker, Mr. Sixto Donato Macasaet, convenor, PJP.  The message of Mr. Macasaet follows:

Atty, Zulaika Lopez, City Administrator, Mr. Senen Bacani, Mr. Michio Ito, partners from JPN, collegues in PjP, othe partners and friends Good afternoon, Magandang araw, Maayong adlaw, Konichiwa.

The PJP is a network of 20 NGO networks, plus several individual advocates, which started in 2006.  Its membership is composed of Philippine NGOs and networks as well as Japanese NGOs operating in the country.  PJP was formed in early 2006 with the goal of maximizing human, financial and other development resources for poverty alleviation, and works primarily on two tracks – (a) promoting networking between Philippine and Japanese NGOs and (b) research and advocacy on making Japanese ODA to the country more participatory and effective in addressing poverty and supporting people-centered development.

Let me just share with you my hopes for this 3rd Symposium.

This is already the 3rd such symposium that we have held.  The first in Market! Market! Mall in Taguig City in November 2006, and the second in Tokyo, Japan in July 2008.  Looking back at these 2 symposia and recalling the many things we planned and agreed to do, we could say that we have not been able to accomplish many of what we had hoped to do.  Many of the thematic groups we formed in 2008, for example, have not been active in pursuing their common plan since then.  So why are we meeting again now?  Why are we coming together again after two years even if we could say that we have not been able to do many of the things we agreed to do?

I think we are meeting again – and are happy to do so – because we all know that building networks and relationships require that we spend time together every now and then to exchange stories, experiences and lessons in life.  Spending time together is important in strengthening relationships and friendships.  If we reflect on our own personal life, I am sure we all can recall spending Friday evenings or Saturday afternoons or entire weekends with friends doing nothing but exchanging stories, sharing jokes, recalling good times together in the past and keeping each other updated on what we are doing now, our concerns, our joys and our dreams in life.  At the end of such sessions with friends, and we are asked – so what did you do, what did you talk about? – we gladly say, “Oh, nothing much”, Wala lang”.

Yet, we know that it is sessions like these with our friends that keep us connected to each other, that assure us that there are people we can count on to be there for us, that rejuvenate us.  It is sessions like these that enable us to go on with our work and our lives – no matter the difficulties – because we know that we have a community of people who share our work and our dreams.

So, I see this symposium as days with friends and partners, sharing stories and lessons, exchanging experiences and expertise, building a network and a community.

However, at the same time, we also still hope that this symposium will result to specific activities, outputs and outcomes related to poverty alleviation and people-centered development.

In fact, while we must admit that we have not been able to do all that we had hoped to do after the 206 and 2008 Symposia, we must also say that there have been significant steps forward.  For example, the basic aspects of the Partnership Fund have been clarified and agreed upon through a process involving both the PJP and our partner in Japan, the Japan Philippine NGO Network or JPN.  I am informed that initial funds have been raised by the working group on the Partnership Fund, and we are ready to launch the Fund tomorrow as part of this Symposium.

We hope that during this symposium, we will still come up with joint plans to address our shared concerns and pursue our common objectives.  But this time around, we would perhaps be more conscious of the many difficulties we face in implementing such plans after this symposium – including the heavy workload we all face when we go back to our NGOs in the Philippines and Japan, the distance between us, the differences in language and culture, our limited resources and others.   And, being more conscious, our plans now would hopefully be more realistic and do-able.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank, on behalf of PJP, several organizations that have provided their kind support for this Symposium.  We would like to thank the Japan Foundation which provided financial support and also advise and other assistance.  We are also grateful to the Embassy of Japan and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for providing kind assistance and are participating in this symposium.  We would like to thank the JPN for their continued partnership and support, and networking.  We would also like to thank all of you for your participation and  we look forward to three days both of doing nothing much but sharing stories and building relationships, and also doing much more to strengthen the networking among Philippine and Japanese NGOs and the advocacy for more participatory and effective development partnership between Japan and the Philippines.

Maraming salamat po.

This was followed with another opening remarks from Mr. Michio Ito, Convenor of JPN, who likewise delivered his message.

Opening Remarks for

The 3rd Philippines & Japan NGO International Symposium

on Social Development

Michio Ito, Convenor, JPN

(President, ACC21)

Good afternoon everyone, my fellow NGO workers, distinguished guests: Mr. Senen Bacani from the Peace Panel of the Philippine government; Atty. Zuleika T. Lopez, City Administrator of Davao; Ms. Yukie Mitomi of the Japan Foundation, the sponsoring organization of this Symposium and people from JICA.  I would like to welcome you all to The 3rd Philippines & Japan NGO International Symposium on Social Development.  It is an honor indeed to give some opening remarks for the 3rd Philippines & Japan NGO International Symposium.

I consider myself lucky to have had the chance to be involved in this pioneering task to bridge NGO communities of the Philippines and Japan since its time of budding, which was a year before the 1st Philippines-Japan NGO Symposium was held in Taguig City, Metro Manila, the Philippines in 2006.  I vividly remember the first Symposium when NGO participants of both countries passionately discussed, with yet an uneasy attitude of encountering each other for the first time, under the theme of “Empowering the Poor for Poverty Alleviation towards 2015: Partnership Building between Philippine and Japanese NGOs”. 

At the 2nd Philippines-Japan NGO Symposium, which was held in Tokyo in 2008, together with other Japanese NGO workers, I was again given an opportunity to prepare and organize it, and then as the first time in the history of NGO communities of both countries, some twenty Philippine NGO workers and leaders attended the Symposium.  Somehow I felt that we were already confident in our partnership-building so that on the last day we adopted unanimously the TOKYO DECLARATION, manifesting our agreement on an action plan with five main points, which you can find in the proceedings distributed to you today.

Now let me take this opportunity to introduce briefly the Japan-Philippines NGO Network, JPN in short, which is the counterpart of PJP in the Philippines since I find a fairly large number of the participants who are still new.

JPN was established in Tokyo in April 2006 upon the initiative of several NGO leaders, after some preparatory period of six months. JPN is composed of those NGO members concerned with cooperation with Philippine people and NGOs who want to take up the challenge of such causes, as empowering those in socially and economically difficult conditions in the Philippines and those suffering from violation of human rights in living and working in Japan. 

On top of JPN’s aims, is to promote exchange of information and experiences among the members, and secondly, to build up organizational capacity of member NGOs. Third, JPN aims to engage in advocacy work for socially marginalized Filipinos and to stop violation of human rights of Philippine workers in Japan, fourth, to engage in monitoring the Japanese Official Development Aid, more specifically the Country Assistance Five-Year Program of the Japanese government to the Philippines which started in 2008, and fifth, to promote collaborative relationship with PJP.

Although the number of members of JPN is at present quite limited, numbering 18 NGOs and 3 individuals who are academics, we continue to provide information service to those who are non-member NGOs at the country level.

Today, I would like to propose to you, my fellow NGO workers, about two things. One is an integrated approach to our common agenda and the other individual commitment. 

Before coming to the Symposium, I had an opportunity to visit and observe an integrated development program implemented in Bohol for over 15 years by a leading NGO based in Manila with a regional office in Cebu.  And I found out farmers who are beneficiaries of this program have doubled their crops and income even before the first-phase of the Program ended. A couple of farmers, whom I met, proudly said they are sending their children to colleges and universities. 

The NGO, the project implementer, calls it “Area Resource Management Program” and has mobilized every possible resource in the targeted area such as provincial and municipal governments, local NGOs, POs such as multi-purpose cooperatives, CBOs such as barangay level farmers’ associations and private firms and banks and foreign donors. The staff in charge of this NGO who guided me during my six-day visit, called Program Coordinator, harnesses these various stakeholders to lead to one goal, that is, poverty reduction of farmers.

His predecessor, whom I met two days ago and had dinner together in Cebu, said to me that during his service, insurgents with arms were present near his project sites. But he obtained trust from them because his farmers convinced them that he sincerely committed himself to poverty reduction. Villages were so poor at that time. 

From this visit, I learned the great value of adopting an integrated approach in poverty reduction, long-term institutional and individual commitment and the important role of an NGO worker harnessing various stakeholders for one goal are somehow the formula for success of this Program. Maybe we can learn from this success story in promoting our partnership activities between the two countries, the Philippines and Japan. 

Although at this Symposium, we are having a limited number of guests and people of other sectors such as government and business, let us harness our relations with those people and institutions they belong to.

In this Symposium, we are also welcoming some participants who are descendants of war-displaced Japanese and NGOs working with them, and NGOs working with Filipinos in difficult situation in Japan. We will have a special session tomorrow morning on “Historical and Cultural Dimensions of Partnership” between the two countries.  Unfortunately, both the war-displaced Japanese and Filipino workers and/or women mistreated by Japanese have been socially excluded.

Tomorrow we will learn more. It is my personal hope that some day, hopefully in the near future, these important players, will work with us and contribute to bridging the two peoples, societies and cultures. In recent years I have observed that the NGO communities in both countries are facing difficulties in mobilizing financial and human resources in this severe economic situation.

Let me conclude my remark, however, by double-quoting what former Philippine Senator Juan Flavier, a keynote speaker of the 2nd Philippines-Japan NGO Symposium in Tokyo, presented as a concluding remark in his presentation. He quoted from the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal as follows: “a life that is not devoted to a noble cause is like a stone in the field without any meaning to its existence”. I do not know if our mission is noble or not. But, annotating this quote, Dr. Flavier said that NGOs can be monuments to be beloved because their lives are dedicated to noble causes and noble efforts, and are no longer stones on the field. 

My fellow NGO workers and friends, let us go forward and let us make the 3rd Symposium another meaningful step for concrete action and pursue our mission to realize a vision for a society with peace and equity.  Thank you and best wishes to everyone here.

Afterwhich, the moderator then introduced the next speaker, the former city council secretary whom Mayor Inday Sara Duterte appointed city administrator… Ms. Zuleika Lopez.  Ms. Lopez went ahead with her message fro the City Mayor of Davao:

Salamat Sara.  Maayong hapon sa tanan… it is indeed my honor to stand before you and speak because the Republic of Japan is a country that is very close to my heart for two reasons:  personally and professionally. Personally, I was a Jica scholar for sometime.  During my short stint as a scholar of JICA, I was introduced to the culture of Japan, and so many of you would agree it’s a wonderful blend of east and west, and talaga naman the Japanese culture is a fascinating one.

On the professional capacity, when mayor Inday Sara Duterte was the Vice Mayor of Davao, she took the lead in passing a resolution ordinance creating the Japanese heritage site which is located in Mintal in the third district of Davao City … it is for this reason we all know Davao City is home to several, to many Japanese descendants…and of course the tourist arrivals the Japanese nationals account for a lot of tourist arrivals here in Davao. So with this in mind, I would suppose the City of Davao and the Republic of Japan would have more special relations and we look forward to have more fruitful partnership and collaboration with the Republic of Japan.  Our beloved city mayor would have wanted to welcome you in person but unfortunately she’s in Manila for an official business.  However, she has tasked me to stand before you and welcome you.

Allow me then to read her welcome message.

May we begin Mr. Michio Ito, our Convenor for JPN

Mr. Sixto Donato Macasaet, our convenor for PJP

Our 2009 Toefil awardee, Mr. Senen Bacani,

Our officials from the Jica and Japan Foundation,

Our private sector representatives  including the Japanese descendants of  the city of Davao

Our OFW returnees, friends from the business sector and from the academe, as well as other guests from Japan Embassy

And from the Phil National and local government agencies

friends, and other guests,

Maayong hapon!  Konichiwa!

This coming together of non-government and peoples organizations from both Japan and the Philippines signals a more strengthened private sector partnership between our two countries.  This event is an opportunity for you, the Civil Society representatives from both the Philippines and Japan to share your expertise and best practices to improve the way you serve the community.

It is a prime example that our two nations, the Philippines and Japan, are looking at the lessons of the past in order to forge a better tomorrow.  Allow me then to take this opportunity to thank the PJP-JPN for choosing the City of Davao, which has a very rich Japanese heritage as a venue for this noble endeavor.  In behalf of the city government of Davao, I would like to welcome everyone to Davao City, and to X3 (Expertise, Experience Exchanges) Phil-Japan partnership on social development

Again, madayaw, maayong hapon, Konichiwa…

After this, the photo exhibit was opened with a presentation by a cultural group called Pangkat Silayan from the University of Southern Philippines (USP).  Thereafter, the Inspirational message from Mr. Senen Bacani followed, thus:

Inspirational Message

Senen C. Bacani

2009 TOFIL Awardee

Member, Philippine Peace Panel

  In behalf of the philippine civil society organizations ad the peace and equity foundation, i wish to extend my greetings of peace to our partners in this symposium.

  Mr. Michio Ito and Mr Sixto Donato Macasaet, Convenors of the Philippine Japan Partnership.

  The cultural and economic ties between the Philippines and Japan date back to the 13th century.  Japanese Christians came to the Philippines later in the 16th century and it is said that at that tie, the rustic Paco District, one of the oldest settlements in Manila was referred to as the “Yellow Plaza” due to the presence of more than 3,000 Japanese in that district.  In the years that followed, Japanese Farmers contributed to the growth of the vegetable industry in the Cordilleras and much later to the construction of the now famous Kennon road that lead to Baguio City.

  In the 1900s, Davao, was referred to as Ko Nippon Koku (“LITTLE JAPAN” in Japanese) due to the presence of Japanese workers in many agricultural plantations.  The significant contribution and presence of Japanese in Davao is I believe part of the reason why this 3rd Forum is being held here.

It is of course not to be denied that there were also wounds in our historical relations but these have not stopped our two countries from working together to achieve many common goals and dreams.

  Among the goals we now seek to pursue together are poverty reduction and peace.  Thus, the decision of the Philippine Japan Partnership and Japan Philippines Network (PJP-JPN) to hold this 3rd conference in Mindanao speaks emphatically of our desire to strengthen our relationship by remembering the past and learning lessons from historical, social and cultural interactions; but most importantly building on these lessons to work together for the future.

  Peace and Poverty are tow interlocking issues in Mindanao.  These issues become more relevant since Mindanao is home to many ethnic indigenous populations as well as Filipino migrants from the North, who have grown deep roots and have raised at least 2 generations in Mindanao.

  The Japanese Government and non-government organizations continue to contribute significantly to our desire to attain peace and reduce poverty in Mindanao.  I was informed that a Japanese NGO, Asian Community Center 21, supported the provision of water systems for the Mamanwas, a small indigenous population in Surigao del Norte Province, and another abaca processing project in Barangay Chua in Sultan Kudarat province. 

  One of the partner cooperatives of the Peace and Equity Foundation, the Grow Lambo Multipurpose Cooperative in Compostela Valley proudly narrates that it was the former Christian child Welfare Association from Japan that gave them the opportunity to attend school and are now professionals in their own cooperative.

  On a much larger scale, Japan is now the largest source of Official Development Assistance in the Philippines.  Therefore, the lessons and insights from our cooperative work through small yet significant projects in the poorest communities can be crystals of knowledge and practices that can grow and be replicated in many other poor communities of Mindanao.

  The families and communities – of Indigenous Peoples with mixed ethnic and religious traditions – who become better off and attain progress from our seemingly small efforts, themselves become the advocates of cooperation and eventually of peace.  Official Development Assistance can thus be directed to these cooperative communities whose members can build on ethnic, religious and political diversity, and unite in working for peace and development.

  One of the objectives of this forum is to look into successful experiences in addressing peace and development issues.  Through my involvement in La Frutera  have witnessed how the lives of hundreds of former MILF and MNLF rebels have been transformed by having the opportunity to earn a decent living and provide for the families.

  The private sector investment in a large banana plantation in Maguindano has empowered people and brought peace.  Twenty years ago, who would ever have thought that peace could be attained I this once war-torn area by investing in a banana plantation?  I am often asked how we were able to convince former rebels to give up their arms in favour of employment in banana growing and my answer is simple – provide marginalized people with the opportunity to help themselves our of poverty and pursue higher inspirations, and peace will naturally follow.

  Peace and development go together.  We cannot keep on waiting for peace to come first.  The reason there is no peace is because there is no development.  It is my fervent hope that the La Frutera model in Maguindanao can inspire government and other private companies to see how providing jobs, especially in the rural areas, is a sustainable way to alleviate poverty – and strife.

  Our 1,800 employees who work under the theme “Unity in Diversity” could attest to the benefits gained from this local and international private-public-community partnership.

  As an agricultural entrepreneur, I, together with like-minded private businessmen and women, have invested resources – not just financial and technological, but most importantly our so-called social capital – for the past four (4) decades  in Mindanao’s agriculture-based industries and enterprises.  I have worked with a multinational fruit company and used my experience from there to help establish Filipino-owned agribusinesses – one of which is La Frutera.

  However, more than he economic or financial returns from these (which I can assure you do not come easily nor quickly), I consider the social returns and benefits to the people of these poorest communities of Mindanao, to be the most rewarding.  The financial returns ensure sustainability of the enterprise.  However, the social returns and benefits – in the sustained employment or previously unemployed men and women; the social services that the local governments and the company are able to provide; and most importantly, in the dramatic reduction of criminality and violence – these are what can ensure that the enterprise grows and flourishes for many more years, to benefit more and more people.

  Most recently, I have been appointed as a member of the Government Peace Panel to negotiate with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.  I realize that these peace talks will be a continuing crucial challenge for both the government and our fellow Filipinos here in Mindanao.  I believe, nevertheless, that the opportunities for lasting peace are already here in Mindanao – in the rich and abundant resources, and the diverse and dynamic people, who can be inspired by sincere and honest leadership.

  Finally, I wish to congratulate the members of PJP-JPN for initiating an innovation in development financing.  The PJP-JPN partnership fund is a breakthrough in demonstrating our common commitment to see positive changes in the communities we care for.  I sincerely hope that the fund will help in sustaining and strengthening the historical-cultural ties between the two countries and lead to more culturally sensitive partnership relations.

  Together, let us work for the success of this 3rd PJP-JPN symposium and the work tat lies ahead.  Let us hope that the sharing of experience and expertise will contribute to stronger cooperation among our respective governments, private and civil society sectors; and to support Japanese ODA in the Philippines directed for Peace and Development programs.  And let us ensure that this wellspring of knowledge and social interactions will cultivate participation of more citizen stakeholders in Japan and in the Philippines.

              Thank you very much and mabuhay!

Following the message of Mr. Bacani, the Symposium’s Objectives and Overview was then given by Mr. Ricardo Torres, Jr., Assistant Executive Director, Peace and Equity Foundation, Inc. (Please see attached presentation)

At 2:30 p.m. the PLENARY followed with the presentation of CASE STUDIES on DEVELOPMENT FINANCING.

Ms. Jaz Lumang-Buncan of IBON Foundation presented the Japanese ODA Program & the Participation of CSOs and then Mr. Hajime Yokota of Action presented the Japanese NGOs Role in the Philippines and Resource Mobilizatioin after a short break following Ms. Buncan’s presentation.

Mr. Jeremiah Opiniano of IMDI then discussed the Diaspora Giving by Filipinos in Japan.

Later in the afternoon, inquiries and reactions were entertained in an Open Forum but not after four Japanese nationals presented their participating organizations as follows:

  1. Ms. Makiko Tamaki for HANDS
  2. Ms. Yuko Inoue for PNLSC
  3. Mr. Naoteru Honda for HHaHJ or Helping Hands and Hearts Japan
  4. Mr. Michio Ito of ACC21.

Open Forum:

  1. An inquiry was addressed for Mr. Opiniano regarding his talk.
  2. Another participant talked about the mini-stops in Japan which are like the Convenience Store in the locality;
  3. Questions regarding the number of Filipinos living in Japan for Mr. Opiniano;
  4. Eric de la Torre discussed a little about what was earlier mentioned as the seeming “no culture of giving” or donations in Japan.
  5. A question was directed at Mr. Michio Ito on resource mobilization.  In response, Mr. Ito gave an overview on Japan’s resource mobilization.  He said some 36 Billion Yen (Php 18B) was raised among 200 NGOs based in Japan.  These came from donations, membership fees,…

Mr. Ito further said around 70% generated funds came from individual donations; 15% from government funds and other government agencies…

As to the question on Culture of donation, Mr. Ito gave two reasons:

1)  group oriented; 2) lack of individual initiative

6.  Mr. Ric Torres likewise commented on Japan’s “Culture of giving”.  He said unlike Filipinos, the Japanese people don’t just give money as easily.

7.  From Masspec representative said NATCO, one of the strong cooperative network in the country is interested to get feedback from Japanese counterpart if it is possible to tap Japanese Cooperatives in Agriculture.

8.  Mr. Ito responded saying that he is familiar with consumers’ cooperatives but not much with farmers’ cooperatives.  He went on to discuss about a Japanese NGO that assisted a cooperative in Negros that bought products of Negros sugar workers.

26 August 2010

2nd day


8:45 a.m.

An Opening prayer was said by Ms. Rhea Aguilar. 

The day’s Moderator was Mr. Restie Male, PDAP, who said that there will be no recap for the morning session, hence the plenary on Peace Building and Development will follow at once.  He then introduced the next speaker, Ms. Jaz Lumang-Buncan who said that she will be discussing in the next presentation the over all situation in Mindanao.  This will then be followed by a presentation from the JICA Davao Office.

Ms. Buncan also suggested to have a separate workshop on Peace Building in Mindanao.  She added that there will be some presentations from different groups working in Mindanao, both groups based in Mindanao and those supported by the JPN network in Japan.  She then started to present her discussion. (Please see presentation on IBON_Peace_and_Devt (PLENARY)

Ms. Jaz Lumang-Buncan started with an overview of Mindanao Island and the different initiatives of the non-government organizations in the island.  She mentions that a presentation from JICA Davao Office will also showcase their program in Mindanao, likewise, some NGOs  working in Mindanao shall present their  work.

  • Mindanao has a lot of contradictions; it is home to about 20 million people, the Indigenous peoples, the moro, the settlers who have migrated to Mindanao.
  • Rich in natural resources and contributes almost 50% to the national economy.
  • Presence of different armed groups;
  • Violations of HR, culture of impunity are some of the problems in the region.
  • The Ampatuan massacre, which victimized more journalist, until now, nothing happens here;
  • Oplan Bantay Laya responsible for different extrajudicial killings of 1,200, 310 of whici were from Mindanao;

The following speakers are from the different organizations in Mindanao:

  1. Ms. Margie Gromio, the Vice president of the group presented the Mindanao Children Library (MCL) in Kidapawan.  The project started in 2003 with young children who have become victims of displacement after the unstable peace and order situation in the Maguindanao areas, particularly in Pikit.
    1. the central idea of the organization is to share with the culture of their young beneficiaries.
    1. Storytelling provide children pleasure, thus the importance of books in their mobile library. 
    1. They have other projects like cultural and medical assistance.
    1. The scholars helped the MCL in their projects;
    1. The organization have now assisted almost 600 children whom they have sent to school.
    1. These are children from remote areas.
  1. Omar Shariff Ongie of Ginapalad
  2. started in 2003 as an association in the village during the all out war, many people were displaced;
  3. we decided to rely on ourselves;
  4. call it grassroots peace process
  5. dialogue included statement of support for MNLF/Gov’t panel
  1. Shiho A. Camacho – presented the action program of JICA field office in Mindanao.

An open forum followed with some of the participants asking questions related to what the speakers presented in their talk.  There were some questions particular on JICAs operation in Mindanao and clarificatory questions for MCL.  Another participant gave a reflection on an observation regarding the development agenda in far flung areas, who cited that trees were being cut to pave the way for a banana plantation.

In response, Ms. Jaz Lumang said it is for the government to provide an enabling environment, that government must be challenged to broaden its role.

Ms. Alma de la Paz of Kapwa Foundation raised a question about the outcome of all the development efforts being done by CSOs. 

After all the discussion has been exhausted on the ODA and the peace and development efforts in Mindanao, the moderator then directed the body to another plenary on the historical and cultural dimensions of partnership, particular on the Japanese presence in the country.

He then introduced the next speaker, Dr. Macario Tiu, a professor of Ateneo de Davao and an author of several books, as well a Palanca awarde for some of his written works.  (Please see attached Dr. Tiu’s quicknotes)

Dr. Tiu’s presentation was followed by another account on the Japanese presence in the Cordillera as shared by Dr. Maranilla Floriendo, Ph.D.  (Please see presentation)

Another presentation followed on the Filipinos in Japan from the Development Action for Women Network (DAWN), an organization serving the Filipinos working in Japan.  The presentation follows:

Filipinos in Japan

Carmelita G. Nuqui, Executive Director

 Development Action for Women Network (DAWN)

There are many reasons why Filipinos leave their country to work abroad. Researchers and scholars highlight the demand-supply nexus and the push-pull factors as reasons.

Japan is one of the more popular destinations of Filipinos who want to try their luck abroad. It is a developed country and economically superior to the Philippines. The socio-economic conditions in Japan such as the demand for cheap labor, aging population, decline in birth rate and the demand for foreign women for reproductive purposes are some of the reasons for the need for foreign workers, and foreign wives. Meanwhile, the unemployment, poverty and other economic factors push Filipinos to seek employment in other countries, such as Japan.

According to official statistics released by the Philippine government, the stock estimate of overseas Filipinos as of December 2008 is 8,187,710[1]. This is divided as follows: those permanently staying in another country, those staying temporarily, and the irregulars[2].Filipinos in Japan account for a little less than 3 percent (2.83%) of the total estimate of OFs.

The figure from the Philippines is slightly different from official figures released by Japan. By the end of 2006, the population of Filipinos residing in Japan, according to the Ministry of Justice, was at 193,488[3]. In 2007, it was 202,592. This figure does not include yet the irregulars. Filipinos are the fourth largest foreign community in Japan after China, Korea and Brazil.

Who are these Filipinos in Japan?

Statistics from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration lists the number of deployed landbased OFWs to Japan. The figures show how the number of Filipinos who go to Japan has been increasing each year. It also reveals that it is mostly overseas performing artists who have dominated our labor export to Japan. Compared to other countries, Japan has always been the number one receiver of overseas performing artists (OPAs) from the Philippines.

You will notice though that from 2005, the number of Filipinos deployed to Japan has dropped and has continued to drop. The reason for this is the amendment in the immigration policy of Japan that limited the entry of ‘entertainers’ to the country which took effect on March 15, 2005.

Because of the number of Filipinos in Japan, Japan has consistently been in the top ten sources of remittances to the Philippines[4]. Even after the number of OPAs to Japan has significantly decreased after 2005, Japan has remained in the top ten sources of remittances to RP.

The Philippines has not been sending only entertainers to Japan. Since the 19th century up to the 1960’s, almost all Filipino workers in Japan were musicians[5]. Due to the Philippines’ colonial heritage, we have adapted the ways and culture of the US. One of these is the love for music, including jazz music. According to studies, Filipino jazz musicians were popular among the Westernized Japanese of the 1920s and the Japanese middle class of the 1960s. Filipino jazz musicians would perform in Japanese Hotels.

After the war (1950s), Filipino singers were performing in big nightclubs and hotels. One of the more popular among them was Bimbo Danao.

By the 1970s, Filipino bands were also playing rock and roll music in Japan. They dominated the clubs on and around the US bases in Okinawa[6]. Soon they were also found in nightclubs and discos in urban centers in Japan.

Another group that became popular in Japan was the pugilists. In 1924, Filipino boxers were invited to Japan for the first Japanese-Filipino bouts. Having learned the sport from the Americans, the Japanese fighters were no match for the Filipino boxers.

The 1970s saw a decline in the popularity of boxing in Japan. But by the 1980s, the Filipino boxers were coming to Japan again and fighting and many became title holders. There were also those who came only for a specified number of bouts. It is said that the Filipino boxers would rather fight in Japan because of the larger amount they would earn. Even if they lose, they would also earn. Thus, there were also some Filipino boxers who came to Japan to lose their fights with Japanese boxers.

It was also in the 1970s when another set of entertainers were coming to Japan – Filipino women entertainers. During the early part of their migration, many were working as sexy dancers and strippers in clubs. What brought their entry into Japan?

If we recall our history, the relationship between the Philippines and Japan has not been good especially after World War II. It was only in the 1970s, when then President Ferdinand Marcos signed the Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation with Japan that trade and economic aspects of the relationship prospered. After its ratification, earlier restrictions on travel, trade and investment were lifted and Japan’s investment in the Philippines expanded. It was also during this time that there came an influx of Japanese tourists coming to the Philippines. This resulted in the development of a service industry that catered mostly to male Japanese and so called “sex tours” came about. The emergence of sex tours did not sit well with many Philippine groups, including the church. Protests and rallies were held against it. The sex tours stopped and instead of men coming to the Philippines, the women were “invited” to come to Japan[7].

By the 1980s, there were many Filipino women entertainers working in various entertainment establishments in Japan. 

It is also during the 1970s and 1980s, when male nightclub workers or hostos began entering Japan, although their number is very small compared to women.

The entry of Filipino women “entertainers” or overseas performing artists (OPAs) as the Philippine government liked to call them was wrought with problems. Women were being brought to Japan not as performing artists but as entertainers in various clubs and karaoke bars. The term overseas performing artist is therefore misleading considering that theirs is actually a hostessing job.

More so, we should not fail to look at the situations of these women. From pre-migration until the time they work in Japan, the women were subjected to a lot of human rights violations, including violations in their working conditions.

Consider these facts:

  • Upon arrival in Japan, their passports and other documents are confiscated
  • What is stipulated in the contract that they signed in the Philippines is different from what they actually did
  • The amount of salary written in the signed contract is not the same as the amount they receive from their work
  • They were brought to other places of work and not in the place as stipulated in the contract
  • They performed hostessing jobs and hardly did singing and dancing on stage
  • Many were required to go out on dates with their customers to insure that the club would have customers in the evening
  • Salaries were given to the women at the end of the contract, i.e., after six months

These are situations of trafficking, although the women may not be aware of them.

It was also during the 1980s when Japan witnessed a significant increase in international marriages between Japanese men and women from China, Korea and the Philippines. Foreign brides or hanayome were brought to rural Japan to reproduce for the depopulated communities. It was the time when young Japanese women from the rural areas were leaving their communities to seek paid employment and subsequent marriages in the cities thus affecting the ration of marriageable females and males. This affected the community and thus they turned to foreign women. Rural residents and local administrators, in their effort to populate their communities, promoted international marriages.

Statistics from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas give us an idea of the number of Filipinos who have married Japanese nationals. According to the CFO, only about one percent of Filipino males have Japanese spouses. The rest are Filipino females married to Japanese men.

Some Filipino women entertainers have met their future husbands in the clubs where they worked. After marriage, they settled in Japan and raised their own families. But as it is with many Filipinos, those who are abroad continue to send some financial assistance to their families in the Philippines. This is also true with Filipino women married to Japanese men. Many among them still work after marriage. There are still those who do part-time jobs in the omise or club. There are also those who turned to caregiving after giving up entertainment work.

It is a fact that Japan has an ageing population and the elderly have to be taken care of. As caregivers, Filipino women who used to work in the clubs are also trying to remove the stigma on them; they are trying to improve their image – from entertainers to caregivers.

The population pyramid of 1950 shows that Japan had a standard-shaped pyramid marked by a broad base. The shape of the pyramid, however, has changed dramatically as both the birth rate and death rate have declined. In 2008, the population of elderly citizens (65 years and over) was 28.22 million, constituting 22.1 percent of the total population and marking record highs both in terms of number and percentage. Although the population of the elderly in Japan accounted for only 7.1 percent of the total population in 1970, 24 years later in 1994, it had almost doubled in scale to 14.1 percent[8]

In terms of demographics, Japan’s declining fertility rates and increase in life expectancy of the population have decreased labor force participation rate and at the same time increased dependency ratio[9]. A high dependency ratio requires increasing number of working population to attend to this ageing group, thus creating a demand for certain types of workers.

With the signing of the JPEPA in 2006 between the Philippines and Japan, and its ratification in 2008, more Filipino caregivers and nurses are expected to come to Japan to work. Upon its ratification, 400 Filipino nurses and 600 caregivers would be allowed to undergo training in Japan for the next years under the JPEPA scheme.

A total of 270 nurses and caregivers who applied under JPEPA left for Japan on May 10, 2009. They are the first batch of health care workers given the opportunity to work abroad as a nurse. The second batch of 10 workers left on May 31, for a total of 280 successful applicants. The departure of a total of 92 nurses and 188 caregivers was facilitated by Japan International Corporation of Welfare Services (JICWELS).On September 27, 2009 another thirty candidate caregivers also left for Japan.

In May 2010, a total of 118 Filipino health workers, of which 46 are nurses and 72 are caregivers, left for Japan as part of the JPEPA scheme.

Before these nurses and caregivers can work in hospitals and care facilities, they will first undergo language and culture training for six months. Meanwhile, others, specifically the second batch of workers (those who left in 2010) will not go through this training because they are already proficient in the Japanese language (they studied in the Philippines).

These nurses are set to take the Kangoshi licensure examination set for February 2010. Meanwhile, the caregivers will take the national certification examination for Kaigofukushishi after at least three years of work experience in Japan.

On February 21, 2010, the nursing exam was held. Only one Filipino nurse passed the 99th National Nursing exam.

In 2009, the Philippines deployed 1,822 OFWs (383 males and 1,439 females) to Japan. Comprising this OFWs are the following: Choreographers and Dancers (875); Composers, musicians and singers (657); mechanical engineers (17); sportsmen (17); teachers (14); domestic helpers and other household workers (47); IT specialists, agriculturists, clerical workers, etc.

When we talk about Filipinos in Japan, we also have to count the descendants, and spouses and children of Japanese nationals. Of late, they have been coming to Japan to claim their rights.

Nikkei-jin  is a Japanese term for Japanese emigrants and their descendants who have established families and communities in recipient countries. Currently there are 2.6 to 3 million people of Japanese descent living throughout the world.

A number of Japanese migrated from the late 19th century to 1945 to the Philippines and many of them married Filipinos and raised families here. Those children and their descendants are called “Philippine Nikkei-jin”. After World War II , many fathers of  Nikkei-jin lost their lives. Some survived and were repatriated to Japan after the war. The children of Nikkei families became orphans or were left behind in the Philippines with their Filipino mothers.

According to the Philippine Nikkei-jin Support Center, about 800 of these descendants, mostly children or second-generation Nikkei-jins, are either dead or cannot be located, while 300 others are alive but cannot be traced.[10] Some nikkeijins have petitioned Japan’s family court for recognition as Japanese citizens.

In the 1980s, with Japan’s growing economy facing a shortage of workers willing to do so-called three ‘K’ jobs (kitsui [difficult], kitanai [dirty], and kiken [dangerous]), Japan’s Ministry of Labor began to grant visas to ethnic Japanese to come to Japan and work in factories. Japanese immigration law was revised to accommodate third-generation Japanese descendants as long-term residents. A large population of nikkeijins from Brazil, Peru and other Latin American countries went to Japan to work. By the late 1990s, third generation Philippine Nikkei-jins entered Japan as long term residents[11].

At the Japan Embassy, they grant a special visa to nikkeijins or Japanese descendants (Children of Japanese Nationals born on or before the end of World War II [referred to as the 2nd Generation], the 2nd Generation’s descendants and their spouses are eligible to apply for this type of visa.).


Then there are the Japanese-Filipino children or JFC, who are mostly those born during the 1980s as a result of the influx of Filipino women to Japan who worked in the various entertainment establishments. There are JFC in the Philippines and in Japan. The JFC in the Philippines are those who were mostly abandoned or not recognized by their Japanese fathers. With the amendment of the Nationality Law, many more children of Japanese nationals, in our case, Japanese-Filipino children are eligible to acquire Japanese nationality, and thus enter and live in Japan.

If we look at the current figures and statistics of Filipinos in Japan, they comprise a unique group. In the first place, majority are women (about 80 percent). In the second place, their entry to Japan is work-specific, i.e., most came to Japan as ‘entertainers’. Their entry to Japan is on a temporary basis. But as some of these women have married Japanese men, the nature of their migration has become permanent.

This presentation just focused on the Filipinos in Japan, who they are and how they came to be in Japan. If you are interested to know more about OFWs in Japan and their situations, we are inviting you to attend the workshop on OFWs in Japan this afternoon. Thank you.

[1] Prepared by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas from CFO, DFA, POEA and other sources covering 222 countries / territories

[2] Permanent – Immigrants or legal permanent residents abroad whose stay do not depend on work contracts; Temporary – Persons whose stay overseas is employment related, and who are expected to return at the end of their work contracts; Irregular – Those not properly documented or without valid residence or work permits, or who are overstaying in a foreign country.

[3] In www.stat.go.jp

[4] POEA. 2009 Overseas Employment Statistics.

[5] Lydia Yu-Jose. “ Why are Most Filipino Workers in Japan Entertainers?: Perspectives from History and Law,” in Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies 2007 22 (1): 61-84)

[6] Nobue Suzuki. “Filipino Migrations to Japan: From Surrogate Americans to Feminized Workers,” in Yamashita et al., eds. Transnational Migration in East Asia, Senri Ethnological Reports 77: 67–77 (2008)

[7] Tsuda, Mamoru. Excerpts from the Paper presented at the session on “Filipino Diaspora: Local, Regional and Global Perspectives,” First Philippine Studies Conference of Japan, 11 November 2006, Tokyo, Japan.

[8] In www.stat.go.jp

[9] Tullao, Tereso and Cortes, Michael Angelo. Movement of Natural Persons between the Philippines and Japan: Issues and Prospects, 2003.

[10] In www.pnlsc.com

[11] In Tutor, Benigno. “Nikkeijins find their way to their forefathers’ home,” in http://www.philippinestoday.net/index.php?module=article&view=135

A few remarks on the historical and cultural facts presented and the current situation:

  • the sad reality about the historical perspective on Japanese presence in the country during the war; and situations of OFWs in Japan;
  • noted however, are the more positive relations obtaining at present, focusing on the humble efforts of the PJP, DAWN, Maligaya home, etc. with support by CODE-NGO;
  • small drops of water that filled up the bucket;
  • looking forward for more positive stories
  • research would play an important role;
  • from an academician, remarks on a happy note about seeing a mixture of Filipinos and Japanese working together for development;
  • commented on the contemporary descendant which means Filipinos go to Japan to work as entertainers;

After the open forum, an inspirational message was given by the Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan Minister Motohiko Kato.  Following is his talk: 

Good morning to you all.

Social development is important to society as it leads to positive changes in the societal structure.  People everywhere seek a better quality of living, but not all are able to attain it.  In the same way, not all countries have sufficient resources to bolster social development.

The Government of Japan has assisted developing countries in their efforts for social development.  Through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects, or GGP, the Government of Japan supports small-scale projects proposed by Local NGOs, LGUs, Public Schools, Educationa and Medical Institutions that directly benefit the grassroots level as well as contribute to the socio-economic development of developing countries.  As of March 2010, 434 projects have been implemented under the GGP.

Let me mention an example of the GGP project.  I am attending the turnover ceremony of “The Project for Acquisition of Garbage Compactors for Panabo City” this afternoon.  Under this project, three garbage compactors are donated from the City of Osaka, which is the second largest city of Japan, to Panabo City.  The Government of Japan assisted the project in the transportation cost and the reconditioning cost of the vehicles, such as the conversion from right-hand to left-hand drive.  I believe that this kind of project is helpful in strengthening the relationship between the Japanese and Filipino People and deepening our mutual understanding.

Allow me to mention Japan Platform’s activities.  The Japan Platform is a humanitarian aid organization comprised of Japanese NGOs as well as commercial and government Institutions that provide assistance in times of emergencies outside of Japan.  Last year, to rise to the disasters brought about by Ondoy and Pepeng, the Japan Platform decided to provide emergency assistance through fourteen projects by Japanese NGOs.  The prompt distribution of relief goods by ADRA Japan, a Japanese NGO, was highly appreciated by local residents, and even donor communities.

Last May, I attended the turnover ceremony of a housing project by the Japan Asian Association and Asian Friendhip Society, or JAFS, also a Japanese NGO.  In the project, nearly 400 houses were constructed for the residents in fifteen barangays of Angono, Binangonan, Cardona in Rizal Province.  JAFS has long assisted these areas, and the strong ties of JAFS staff and local people led to a successful and smooth implementation of the project.

Since we have this international symposium in Davao this year, I think there are several NGOs whose bases are in Mindanao.  The Japanese Government has launched the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development, or J-BIRD last 2006 in order to contribute to the peace process and development in Conflict-Affected communities in the areas to enjoy the dividends of peace.  Under the J-BIRD, the Embassy of Japan created strong partnerships with local NGOs that have dedicated themselves to enhancing the people’s welfare.  J-BIRD cannot be successful without the cooperation of these local partners, and the Embassy of Japan would like to continue the good relationships with them in promoting economic assistance.

Japan has been the top ODA donor to the Philippines.  To maximize our assistance to the Philippines, we need your continuous support.  Activities of Japanese NGOs also require the dedicated cooperation of local people.  I hope the partnership between Japanese and Filipino will be strengthened through effective collaboration between Japanese and Philippine NGOs, and I believe that the enhance tie-up will have a great impact on the social and economic development in both countries.

Thank you very much for your attention.

1:30 pm.  Activity Sessions:  THEMATIC DISCUSSIONS/WORKSHOPS.

The participants were divided into two groupings of three, according to assigned themes and simultaneously held two sessions: one starting at 1:30 in the afternoon and the second set of groupings at 3pm.

These are the following:


Group 1:  Children (Human Trafficking, Children’s Rights, Education, Health & Child Labor) c/o Visayan Forum

Group 2:  OFWs in Japan c/o DAWN and IMDI

Group 3:  War-displaced Japanese Descendants c/o PNLSC/PNKJ


Group 1:  Disaster Risk Reduction & Management c/o PEF

Group 2:  Sustainable Agriculture & Fair Trade c/o PREDA & PhilDHRRA

Group 3:  Indigenous Peoples c/o KPACIO

Another group on Peace Building was earlier suggested.

The message of the Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of Japan was followed by the presentation of Philippines-Japan NGO Partnership Fund By Mr. Norman Jiao from the Association of Foundations & PJP (please see attached presentation).  A confirmation of support for the Partnership Fund was then made by Mr. Michio Ito, JPN and ACC21.

The total amount raised during the symposium amounted to P4,240.00 & $5.00.  This was on top of the amount earlier committed by the Peace and Equity Foundation as seed fund for the partnership and the counterpart of Japan NGO.

Below are some of the comments and reactions:

  • Ms. Sara said there had been lots of input on resource mobilization, and that she hoped that this efforts be put to use to raise funds for the partnership.  She also hoped the lessons are not lost.
  • A question was posed on the use of the fund.  The reply was that it is still a work in progress and will take a little bit of time.  Meanwhile, the agreements are to be translated into Japanese.
  • A member raised a clarification on some point while the inspiration is still there, not to lose the vision, the vision to ensure that the Japanese ODA will be improved as far as continued development is concerned.
  • Another commented that “what we have in PJP means solidarity, something that must be captured in this cooperation.
  • Ms. Jas also recalled a question posed on the previous day regarding tapping the Filipino Overseas Workers philanthropy, to find ways how and what would be the strategies, which could also be an opportunity to discuss.
  • The response was that the group intends to tap, but as to the question of strategy, that would have to be worked on.
  • Mr. Ito also reiterated what he mentioned earlier in his message: to attain the goal, and one way would be to harness the stakeholders’ concern in  the Philippines.
  • He added that a website would be put up to attract individuals to contribute and mobilize resources;
  • He likewise said that before he came to the Philippines he had approached some government officials, after a few more remarks, he thanked everyone present for their time.

Some announcements were made by the moderator, after which the session adjourned.

Later in the afternoon, a joint business meeting was called to order and Mr. Macasaet facilitated.  (Please see presentation report attached)

The following agenda was discussed:

  1. Review of Tokyo Declaration and Updates, Progress Reports
  2. Discussion:  Major Joint Objectives PJP & JPN for the next two years (2010-2012)
  3. Drafting Committee for the Davao Declaration
  • it was initially designed to be a short meeting.
  • On the Partnership Fund, it was said that the current agreement with PEF will be referred to AF which is willing to accept the fund.
  • On the NGO-Gov’t Forum on ODA Policy Dialogue and Implementation, discuss comments for the next round;
  • Ms. Jas likewise added that the ACC21 is invited to a meeting with JICA.
  • Stress on the importance of establishing links
  • Initially as discussed, there was openness on the part of Japanese government for engaging with CSO, adding that it is now up to (us) how to challenge them with mechanisms to participate;
  • Likewise, the importance to really understand the whole mechanism of the ODA was stressed.
  • It would take time to capacitate (ourselves), but the main contribution would be the experiences, the lessons from the ground…
  • Mr. Ito said after the third meeting in Tokyo they had three meetings and visited a community;
  • In one of the meetings he suggested to meet with the NGO community;
  • He said he succeeded to open up a channel for dialogue.
  • Mr. Macasaet took note of the changes on the original presentation of the earlier meeting.  He then summarized the main messages of Mr. Ito’s response:
  • 1) they could not decide but decision would come from Tokyo
  • 2) they also encouraged the Philippine group to talk to government offices such as NEDA, Dept. of Finance…
  • Mr. Ito added that the agenda for the future is the tie-up with NEDA, and that he would initiate a meeting with Mr. Kato;
  • He likewise commented that in the Embassy, sometimes they do not have coordination.
  • He said it is important to create an environment that would support activities and should have more efforts to a dialogue;
  • He also suggested to come up with specific topics not oly PJP but more on basic policy with NEDA and then Embassy of Japan…
  • On the thematic groups, the Children’s Education, after the Tokyo symposium the only activity made was for fund raising activity for Maligaya house.  There are other activities slated however.
  • Mr. Macasaet said all thematic groups have difficulty for many reasons, one of which is being busy with workloads.  He added that there was clear indication of interest on children;
  • On IPs, more on the Mindanao based;
  • A member proposed the inclusion of OFW.
  • Mr. Ito commented that very few people donate, suggest to promote collaboration…
  • As to how funds raised be distributed, one suggestion is partnership program, set-up committees
  • There were comments about the same agenda in the next meeting in the following day…
  • Mr. Macasaet then said the details will be worked out.  What we can do, he said is to make it open ended.
  • He likewise recognized the importance of coming together and said, it will just come when its time.
  • Two working groups were then assigned to draft a declaration to present for discussion in the plenary of the following day…
  • The meeting was adjourned.

27 August 2010

3rd day


8:45 a.m.

The morning sessions are for field visits.  They are expected to be back after lunch time to discuss what they have seen.  The groups were divided into three and they are to visit the following:

  1. the Japanese Communities
  2. The Silungan sa Daungan
  3. The Katakus Fair Trade Center

(Please see the list of attendance in each center.)

1:00 p.m.

The next session was feed-backing of the results of the thematic groups discussions.  Some groups were unable to report as some facilitators were not informed ahead enough about the said activity.  Nevertheless, the groups still managed to highlight some of the discussions.

Some of the groups that were able to say something briefly about what occurred during the thematic groupings include the following:

  • Indigenous Peoples as told by Ms. Alma dela Paz.  She said there wee two presenters:  SILDAP on concerns for their Ancestral Domain, and; the Moro Women:

IP Workshop

3:20-4:20 pm: Presentations of SILDAP and PIHS

4:20-5:20 pm: Open Forum/Discussions

Summary Points:

  1. Strengthen IP and Moro Governance;
  2. Unify IP and Moro Agenda of all groups, from north to south, including a review of the IPRA in the light of adhering to the UNDRIP and the local struggles of the IP’s and Moro;
  3. Address immediate needs of IP and Moro communities: livelihood, health, education, environmental protection;
  4. Intensify education and advocacy campaign on the UNDRIP;
  5. Ensure installation of special window in the PJP-JPN  fund for Mindanao;
  6. Ensure Mindanao’s people’s genuine agenda integrated in the Mindanao Development Authority (MDA) framework and set criteria and qualification in the appointment of MDA Chair;
  7. Resume the peace talks between GRP and MILF and NDF.
  • The Children’s group – issue of prevention aspect, awareness raising, and strengthening of the Barangay Council for the protection of Children; the corruption in government and the poverty alleviation program; the need for budget for the implementation of RA 9208;
  • War-displaced Descendants group – a presentor recounted what they discussed and gave two points: the need for more advocacy work; mentioned Article 9 in the Japanese Constitution;
  • On the OFW, focused on the Overseas Performing Artists; shared experience of DAWN and DAWN Japan
  • Then Peace-building.
  •   Thematic Presentation on FAIRTRADE, the following recommendations:
  • Support the initiatives of the World Fair Trade Organizations Japan and the Philippines by encouraging partners of PJP to join the Fair Trade Network in the Philippines
  • JPN in turn should convince people in Japan to buy Fair Trade Products such as the Dried Mango0s by PREDA FAIR TRADE that are distributed by Fair Trade Company Japan and sold in MINI-STOP Convenience Stores in Tokyo and soon in all MINI-STOP Stores.  Increase sales generated more development funds.
  • If possible, knock on the door of MINI-STOP CSR to share a percentage of the profit of MINI-STOP to be donated to PJP especially from the income generated from Fair Trade Sales.  It is important therefore that PEOPLE in Japan buys the Fair Trade Dried Mango and other FT products later on.
  • For PJP to help in developing the local market by selling the FT products like what some are already doing.  Mainstream marketing should be supported by PJP by helping in the advocacy and awareness raising.

The three group’s visit toNext to discuss were the field trip and what transpired:

  1. Bahay Pasilungan sa Daungan.  The group had a very good discussion with the Task Force there, composed of the different personnel representing the PNP, Coast Guard, Port Police, Barangay representative, the Visayan Forum.  What struck the group was that the VF showed a good coordination with the different partner agencies; and that it should be replicated;
  2. the Katakus Fair Trade on Sustainable Agriculture; the group saw the use of Durian by-products for paper production; sharing sessions with the women workers;
  3. Japanese communities:  areas visited were the Japanese Museum and the Japanese cemetery; heard many stories from Aiko Tanaka, 82 years old.

In summary, the moderator said it appears that there is really a need to get more donors to support the Philippine work and engage the Philippine government.

The draft declaration was then presented by Ms. Sara.


27 August 2010

We, the NGO members of the Philippines-Japan NGO Partnership (PJP) and the Japan-Philippines NGO Network (JPN) met during the 3rd Japan-Philippines NGO Symposium, from 25 to 27 August 2010 in Davao City, Philippines and have agreed to the following through nurturing the partnership between our networks:

  • Work to make the Philippines-Japan NGO Partnership Fund fully operational. This means that we will have agreement on the guidelines and mechanics, raise funds, receive and screen project proposals, and allocate funds for projects.
  • Formulate joint projects of the thematic groups (to clarify more) to facilitate resource mobilization, continue the spirit of exchange and encourage mutual capacity-building. These projects may be supported by the Partnership Fund.
  • Continue the advocacy to make Japanese ODA truly developmental for the Philippines by seeking, through policy dialog with the Japanese and Philippine governments, to ensure that civil society organizations*[1] participate in the implementation and monitoring of the Country Assistance Program.
  • Develop a common communication plan for PJP and JPN, and maximize web technology.
  • Expand the membership of PJP and JPN. Introduce the work of PJP and JPN to other groups such as OFWs in Japan, and encourage their involvement in any of the two networks.


  • Jas proposes in business meeting to pursue specific activities the group would like to do; wanders if it could be reflected in the statement;
  • A member of MCL said at first he got confused when he joined the thematic grouping.. he added that peace making takes a long time;
  • Mr. Macasaet said that the thematic groups are not close if there are other who would like to join; open to new members to expand membership of PJP; he likewise posed a question on the possibility to have clustering which he said can be tackled after the symposium;
  • Another comment was that there is a need to understand issues the group is working on; the need to involve those who are in the frontline;
  • A non-member yet, a member of a local group asked how they could become a member;

Before the session was formally adjourned, some recognition of individual’s participation were made and presented. 

The closing remarks were made by the following:

  • Ms. Marlene Ramirez, PhilDHRRA-PJP said the following:

Maayong hapon sa ato na tanan. 

It should have been Rolly Abando of PhilDHRRA to give this closing remarks, but due to unavoidable circumstances, Rolly could not make it to this event, and I was requested to take it on. As a network, we abide have to to abide by our members wishes.  I have no choice but to follow.  

Of course, I have to thank Rolly for this opportunity to share a few closing mesages. 

When I joined PhilDHRRA in 1987 – the first lesson that was taught of us was how to eat  and digest — for breakfast, merienda, lunch, merienda and dinner – the word networking and partnership. I guess as a PhilDHRRA baby — i would say that I, and the rest of my generation in phildhrra , grew and were  nourished with idea of  community building, people to people exchange, partnerships. we were all expected by be networkers, to be people-oriented.   When I joined the regional network, i was further fed with the spirit of musyawarah (dialogue), pemahaman (to understand), gotongroyong (to cooperate).   All these ideas and action of building relationships among people and organizations led to what what we are now – a 36 year old DHRRA network, in ten countries that our pioneers and friends would  refer to as  a “living structure” of DHRRAs. 

I wish to share this affinity to the idea  and essence of partnership  – to our partners in JPN, PJP, and other fellow travelers in development work – representatives of govt, donors  – because I think this is what will make us advance in our shared aspirations  and goals —  amidst the challenges of  scarce resources,  inhospitable and unresponsive governments,  frustrating performances of fellow travelers, our own internal weaknesses, and so fort —   directed towards the marginalized sectors in our societies.    We will be faced with major major challenges even as we deal with each other – given our diversity as japanese and filipino peoples, and diversity among  japanese NGOs and fellow Philippine NGOs  – from diverse luzon visayas and mindano.   But this full trust and respect  in our processes and what we can do together,  as partners and friends,  is what will help build the JPN-PJP partnership in the next decades. 

We have survived,  7 years from the time we agreed to work together as PJP-JPN.  We have actually survived  for 2 decades – from the first time I met Ito san in 1990 in PhilDHRRA,  as a networker for Japanese NGOs,  — the idea of giving up on transforming Japan ODA!  to be more effective in its contribution to Philippine development work.  We were also encourage by that changes.    We still don’t have much money – until very recently –  but we remain alive, inspired and happy,  a living structure, in my pioneers words, to this date.  The core of our partnerships are  the  values that we share as development workers  and our concern for the poor in our midst.

The past 2 ½ days had been filled with a lot of sharing on the challenges that we have to deal with. These are permanent in our lives, with continuing variation in every cycle or period – financial crisis, climate change, governance deficit, war displacement of people, political insecurity, conflicts, etc.  We also shared talked about our strategies =  a range of them and these are important to build our confidence as we pursue our actions, enriched  by the experiences and lessons from others.   But these too will change, as our development contexts change.  So, we  as take stock and integrate all the lessons, insights, and recommendations drawn from this  3rd Symposium (keeping in mind the “declaration”  == into   clearer targets and more effective strategies,  into  actionable/practical plans for the next 2-3 years,  what is important for me is to revisit  the foundation of  our cooperation == our shared belief in the potentials of people within  PJP and JPN and the the communities and people that we work with – at different levels and the social capital that we have in our midst.  Let us expand and broaden our partnerships here in the Philippines and in Japan, while we do better in nurturing the  partnerships that we have now, with sensitivity to bringing in more from  the basic sectors in our midst and young people.

With these, on behalf of PJP, I wish to thank everyone for the active participation, generous sharing of time and talent and stories.  We thank the warm host of our Mindanao partners here in Davao.  

  • MS. MITSUKO HORIUCHI, Free the Children Japan/ Professor, Bunkyo Gakuin University

    Mr. Donato Macasaet, Michio Itoh Sennsei, friends and colleagues both in Japan and the Philippines,

  Good afternoon.

    At the outset of the speech I should like to say that I am happy to say a few words at the closing ceremony.  But I feel a little hesitant to do so, because this is the very first time for me to attend a series of this important meeting.  In addition, while for years I have been involved in multilateral cooperation this is the very first time I have been exposed to and gotten experience in bilateral cooperation.  So please excuse me for giving just my impression on the Symposium which, I am afraid, may not deserve its prominence as formal concluding remarks.

Having said that, I would like to begin by congratulating the conveners, Mr. Macasaet and Ito sensei, on their promotion of mutual understanding on many important aspects of social development in the Philippines and on the production of so many fruitful results from this meeting.  I am sure that the two conveners have worked so hard to make all this happen.  Thank you so much for your tireless and tremendous efforts to attain the objectives of the meeting!

I also would like to say that it is a great pleasure to see the many constructive dialogues and active participation of all the participants in this meeting.  These have resulted in a very productive and successful meeting.  As participant of this meeting, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everybody, conveners and participants.  I also thank in particular the Japan Foundation which has provided financial support to the meeting.

My special thanks go to the Japanese Embassy I the Philippines and JICA whose staff members have attended and given us unvaluable input to the meeting.  I am sure we all are particularly happy to hear the encouraging speech made by Minister Kato.

The Symposium has continuously provided us an excellent opportunity to learn more about good practices (I like to say excellent practices) in developing and implementing field projects and for sharing experiences and information.  I am very impressed by the many different types of development activities being undertaken by NGOs.  I would, however, like to say one of the most interesting these in the symposium has been the historical dimensions of partnership.  Japan in the history of the Philippines was well presented in a positive manner by two Pilipino scholars, Dr. Tiu and Dr. Florendo.  This added special value to the Symposium.

I always think it is imperative to understand a society in a historical context.  Furthermore my good friend Mel Nuqui san presented a current important topic that was Filipinos in Japan.  To take this chance I would like to add tha I am an international adviser to her NGO, DAWN.  I am also an adviser to a Japanese NGO which is actively undertaking activities in the Philippines.  Therefore I can say safely that I can represent NGOs in both countries.

Let me say some words on financing development.  As you are well aware this subject is increasingly recognized as an important area in the UN development agenda.  Needless to say, without financial and human resources no work is ever undertaken.  The UN is concerned about the negative effects of the recent financial crisis and the slowdown of the world economy on development aids.

Under the present circumstances, I have a strong feeling that we need to find innovative ways to mobilize resources.  The Philippine-Japan NGO partnership found one of those.  In this regard, I found a very interesting case I the thematic discussions of fair trade.  A fair trade organization, Preda Foundation, which I am going to visit next week, has created a trade partner in private sector in Japan.  A world-famous and successful case in eliminating child labour is the one in sewing footballs in Sialcot in Pakistan.  In this project private exporters of footballs in Sialcot participated as one of the donors.  Perhaps strengthening or expanding partnership with the private sector is one of the areas which we need to pay more close attention to and pursue more vigorously.

In addition ODA remains the major source for developemtn aids.  As agreed upon in the Davao Declaration, a much closer partnership with governments are needed in particular in ODA policy making and monitoring and assessment of development projects.

At this juncture I would like to briefly touch upon Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) vis-à-vis financing.  We all know only five years are left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Goals.  A UN MDGs review summit will be taking place in New York next month in mid-September to accelerate progress towards the MDGs.  Here in the Philippines the UNDP Philippines report says, “The overall probability of attaining the targets remains high, though dependent largely on the confluence of several factors, among them: scaling up of current efforts on all target areas; more efficient synchronization and allocation of available limited resources, including mobilization of additional resources; and stronger advocacy for and enhance capability to implement the MDGs at the local level”.

I believe that the essence of this statement is embodied in our newly adopted Declaration.  I must add that UNDP admits that glaring disparities across regions persist, as do severe funding constraints.  So one of my concerns is that because of this progress we may find it more difficult to mobilize resources to tackle the remaining tasks.  It is therefore important than ever before to forge stronger partnerships between NGOs in both countries.

In concluding, I must say that I am very happy to be back to Mindanao.  This is the second time for me to be here, following the last year’s trip in which Harriet san KPAC kindly took me to Cotabato to see the situation and crucial needs of the people, in particular children living in the area of conflict.  I like to remind you that was the very reason that the International Labour Organization, known as ILO, for which I have once worked, was created in 1919, right after the end of the World War I, together with the League of Nations.  The founding fathers of the ILO (to this conventional English word I must add the word `mothers’) believed that universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.  Furthermore the ILO reconfirmed the principles in 1944 during World War II, in the DECLARATION OF PHILADELPHIA, one principle of which says that poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to prosperity everywhere.  This means that without ensuring decent work for all we cannot attain a lasting peace.  I believe this is particularly true here in Mindanao where peace building is badly needed.

Now, we have just agreed upon in principle the Davao Declaration.  Although we see some progress in many fields, all of us know well that our goals have yet to be attained.  Huge challenges still remain.  So let us continue to work together even more closely and effectively to achieve our common goals.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.