BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The first batch of scholars composed of 17 Negrense health workers under the Japanese Language and Careworker Study Scholarship Program graduated their two-year Vocational Careworker Course at the Houshin School of Healthcare in Miyakonojo City, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan on March 25.
The graduates are Rhea Mae Ermeo from Bago City, Cherie Mae Semeña from Binalbagan, Femar Aquino, Jazmin Ferrer and Arjean Valiente from Cadiz City, Lyrine Ortiz and Jaime Padrid, Jr. from Himamaylan City, Don Vetsky Decena from Hinobaan, Mary Pauline Arro from Kabankalan City, Ferlie John Argando from La Castellana, Edson Pakingking from Murcia, Tracy Lane Rubio and Hervie Superticioso from Pontevedra, Melbourne Crispo from San Enrique, John Mark Fernandez from Silay City, Kevin Clyde Catequista from Sipalay City and Mary Grace Joan Ebro from Talisay City.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, in his commencement speech, lauded the scholars for their dedication and advised them to be responsible products of Negros Occidental.
“As you venture into another chapter of your professional life, always remember, that you are also paving the way in behalf of the other young Negrenses who wish to follow your footsteps. I am taking this opportunity to encourage all of you to stay and work with Houei Group. Let us show the world not just skills we have, but also our proper work ethics and character,” Lacson said.
He also thanked the Houei Group and Yutaka No Sato Social Welfare Corporation for being partners of the provincial government of Negros Occidental and for their commitment to promote sustainable international education.
Lacson noted that Negrenses are not left behind as the entire global community is getting more and more integrated and connected.
While movement and in-person interactions are limited because of COVID-19, Lacson said communities around the world remain connected despite the pandemic.
The graduation ceremony was attended by the Honorable Takahisa Ikeda, City Mayor of Miyakonojo City, Yukiko Shimizu, chairman of Yutaka No Sato Social Welfare Corporation, Yukari Shimizu Edwards, president of Houei Group, Takako Shimizu Wee, Vice President of Houei Group, Leroy Edwards, general manager of Houei Group International Affairs and Chief Operating Officer of International Japanese Language Academy and Noriyuki Tsuda, president of Houei Enterprises Ltd. The principal, assistant principal, teachers and admin staff of the school also attended the activity.
The Japanese Language and Caregiver Study Scholarship is a Study Now, Pay Later Program under the Negros Occidental Scholarship Program Division-Office of the Governor and is offered to Nursing and Midwifery graduates and other health related degree holders (PRC Passers or Non-Passers) who will study Japanese Language Course for one year and three months at the Houei International Japanese Language Academy and Vocational Caregiving Course for two years at Houshin Fukushi Gakuen.
The scholars, who took the National Licensure examinations in January, are now on a Special Activity Visa and will transition to Careworker Visa or Nursing Care Visa soon.
There are 13 more Negrense scholars in Japan who are set to finish their Caregiving Course in 2023.*