UC to help fill in Japan’s manpower needs
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - January 23, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The University of Cebu (UC) has strengthened its partnership with a Japanese employer to help Japan fill in its 400,000 job requirements.

UC, led by its chairman Augusto W. Go, renewed its 9-year contract with Momotarokai Social Welfare Corporation, a licensed home and handicapped facilities in Okayama Prefecture, for the former to offer Japanese language elective course for nursing and caregiving professionals and students to learn Nihongo, in order to quality the huge demand for medical professionals in Japan.

In a press conference, Go said aside from enabling medical professionals to speak Japanese in order to work in Japan, UC will expand the offering to other professionals across industries like mechanics, waiters/waitresses, hotel staff, automotive technicians among other in another partnership contract that will be signed soon.

At present, UC is offering a six-month crash Nihongo language learning course, in partnership with Momotarokai.

Japan’s rising aging population and decreasing birth rate brought about the fast growing need for medical-related professions, thus the need for nurses and caregivers.

Under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) Japan opened its doors to accept Filipino nurses and caregivers.

In the last nine years, UC has been helping Momotarokai for its employment needs, Go said.

Momotarokai chairperson Mariko Ito said Filipinos’ lively characteristic sets apart from other non-Japanese medical professionals working in her facility. Aside from Filipinos, the facility also employs Vietnamese and Indonesians.

“Most Japanese elderly live lonely lives,” said Ito, explaining further that the positive vibe of Filipino caregivers and nurses most often give colors to patients’ loneliness.

Depending on the position, or employment ranking, Ito said salary for caregiver for instance could fetch more or less P100,000 a month. Nurses, on the other hand, are paid higher.

According to Go, UC is ready to assist Japan in its need for more workers, not only in the medical field but in other industries as well.

Under the UC and Momotarokai partnership, UC’s offering of special crash course will focus on teaching basic Nihongo equivalent to JKPT Level N5 (Language Proficiency Test) and introduction of basic caregiving in the Japanese standard to equip students to be qualified to apply for the yearly Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as nurses/caregivers handled by Philippine Overseas Employment Authority (POEA).

Two years ago, Japan’s parliament has approved a new law allowing hundreds of thousands of foreigners into the country to ease labor shortages.

Under the new law, foreigners were allowed to take up jobs in sectors such construction, farming and nursing.

Japan has traditionally been wary of immigration but the government saw the need for more foreign workers because of Japan’s ageing population.

The new law creates two new visa categories. Workers in the first category will be allowed in for five years if they have a certain level of skill and proficiency in Japanese.

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