The Nippon Foundation Fellowships for Asian Public Intellectuals


Presenter: Joel Hernandez

Joel Hernandez is a Visiting Researcher at Keio University. He is a Senior Economist at the Senate of the Philippines. His research interests include human resource development, East Asia regional integration, Japan Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), corporate governance of state-owned enterprises, and competitiveness issues. He has written articles on East Asian regional production networks, capital flows in East Asia, industrial adjustment and labor market conditions in the Philippines, and sociology of cell phone use. He finished his MA Economics at the University of the Philippines School of Economics.

Topic 1 :
Shifts in comparative advantages and investing in workers’ skill development: Cross country analysis, experiences and policy implications


February 11 (Mon), 2008

Room No.1 & 2, 2nd Floor, The Nippon Foundation Building

The emergence of low wage economies bring about greater impetus for firms in the middle income countries such as the Philippines to engage in industrial upgrading—enhancing competitiveness via innovation and increased labor productivity. The extent and pace of industrial upgrading are largely influenced by initiatives of the government, firms, labor groups, and academe. The research studies one crucial aspect of industrial upgrading—investment in human capital. It looks into the technical vocational education and training (TVET) of two countries (Japan and Malaysia) in terms of organization, provision, and financing. It studies firm-level training in the context of current labor conditions. The relationship of human resource development in the context of a country’s policies on science and technology (S&T), small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and overall industrial policy would also be discussed. Ultimately, the research determines what lessons the Philippines can learn from the said countries as it crafts its own human resource development policy.


Presenter: Chito Gascon

Chito Gascon is Executive Director of LIBERTAS, a network of law professionals working on access to justice and law reform concerns. He is active in different civil society organizations and has served in government as well. He also lectures at the political science departments of both the Ateneo de Manila and De La Salle Universities on topics of democracy, governance, and the rule of law. He obtained BA (Philosophy) and LLB (law) degrees from the University of the Philippine. He also read for a Master of Laws degree at the University of Cambridge.

Topic 2
Realizing the Human Right to Access to Justice: Legal Aid Reform PolicyOptions

Chito Gascon will share some initial reflections about his research on recent changes that have been undertaken in Japan for provision of legal aid services from the perspective of a development lawyer with the principal purpose of understanding best practices that could serve as viable alternative models for parallel reform that can similarly be undertaken in his home country.