What the Philippines can learn from Japan, according to senators
MANILA, Philippines — After visiting Tokyo and meeting with Japanese leaders during an official parliamentary visit, senators picked up a few systems and policies in Japan that they hope the Philippines can learn from.
Led by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, a delegation from the Philippine Senate met with Japanese government officials this week to fortify ties between both nations.
Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva said there are “so many things to learn” from Japan’s playbook.
“Not just transportation and the importance of planning and continuous evaluation of their existing programs. Even in legislation,” he told reporters in a message.
Among the systems in Japan that he hopes to pitch in the Philippines is the East Asian country’s employment strategy.
“Actually, their tradition is once you hire that employee from graduation, you intend to keep him or her until he or she retires,” Villanueva said partly in Filipino.
Senator Mark Villar, the head of the Department of Public Works and Highways during the Duterte administration, reflected on Japan’s “really efficient” subway system when he took the train there.
“Hoping we can emulate this in the Philippines for better and more reliable public transportation,” he said in a social media post.
’THEIR SUBWAY SYSTEM IS REALLY EFFICIENT’
LOOK: Former DPWH Secretary and now Senator Mark Villar shares his experience riding the train in Japan and expresses hope that the Philippine transportation system can emulate it. | 📷: Villar/Facebook pic.twitter.com/SiO5VdTfBN
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) April 5, 2023
Villar’s post, however, prompted netizens to challenge the senator to ride public transportation in the Philippines, noting that he is in a position to draft and push for policies that would turn such a hope into reality.
“Please ride our LRT, MRT, and PNR so that you’ll have an idea on what kind of public policy measures you need to pass. Para naman ‘di tayo mauwi sa pa-hope hope na lang (So we won’t be left with just these hopes). You can literally make this happen. Go,” a netizen tweeted.
Please ride our LRT, MRT, and PNR so that you'll have an idea on what kind of public policy measures you need to pass @senmarkvillar. Para naman di tayo mauwi sa pa-hope hope na lang. You can literally make this happen. Go! https://t.co/UkDZrFQylq
— Ben Bernabe (@yogawithben) April 6, 2023
Villar was the chief implementer of the Duterte administration’s cornerstone Build, Build, Build program, which aimed to usher in a “golden age of infrastructure.”
According to UK-based think tank Pantheon Macroeconomics, the Build, Build, Build program “succeeded in ramping up much-needed investment, but clearly failed to meet its lofty goals.”