UB Partners With Japan’s Tokyu Hotels Group

Dr. Victoriano B. Tirol, III, President of the University of Bohol, led the five-member team on a 5-day official visit to Japan for the formal signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with top executives of Tokyu Hotels Group. The signing ceremony took place on November 14, 2023, at Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.

(from left to right) UB College of Hospitality Management, Tourism, and Nutrition Dean, Jane Doren A. Bungabong, Tokyu Hotels & Resorts Co.,Ltd. Advisor, Masahiro Ito, University of Bohol President, Victoriano B. Tirol, III, Tokyu Hotels & Resorts Co.,Ltd. President, Jun Murai, UB Vice President for Administration, Ria Eva M. Sevilla, Tokyu Hotels & Resorts Co.,Ltd. General Manager Kenji Ikeda, and UB Vice President for Finance, Maricel A. Tirol.

The agreement was sealed between Dr. Victoriano B. Tirol, III, and Mr. Jun Murai, President, of Tokyu Hotels Group. This partnership emerged from preliminary discussions held on August 29, 2023, at the university’s Illuminada’s Home.

Witnessing the signing were key university officials, including Dr. Maricel A. Tirol, Vice President for Finance, Ms. Ria Eva Sevilla, Vice President for Administration, Ms. Jane Doren A. Bungabong, Dean, College of Hospitality, Management, Tourism and Nutrition (CHMTN), and Ms. Beryl Elizabeth Lupot, Executive Secretary.

The agreement establishes a structured on-the-job training program providing students with hands-on experience across various hotels operated by Tokyu Hotels Group in Japan. This initiative offers practical exposure to different departments, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of operational dynamics. The collaboration aims to offer invaluable international OJT training opportunities to graduating students from the university’s Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management program.

Following the official signing ceremony, the team proceeded to Hakuba, a village nestled in Nagano Prefecture renowned as a winter sports hub. Their objective was to conduct a thorough on-site inspection of Hakuba Tokyu Hotel, including the accommodations designated for the interns, hospitals, police and fire stations, stores and shops, and recreation areas to visit during free time. This evaluation aligns with the provision outlined in CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 10, series of 2023, or the Enhanced Policies, Standards, and Guidelines on Student Internship Abroad Program. Such inspections are mandated to guarantee the safety and well-being of student interns during their stay in the host country.

In Hakuba, an internship program agreement was formalized between UB President Dr. Victoriano B. Tirol, III, and General Manager Masato Horiuchi of Hakuba Tokyu Hotel. The inaugural group of interns is set to embark on their 90-day internship program at the Hakuba Hotel in the first quarter of 2024, as a key component of this collaboration initiative. The management of Tokyu Hotels will give preference to OJT students who successfully complete their evaluation post-training, with the prospect of becoming permanent employees and securing a 10-year residency in Japan. However, interns are at liberty to explore opportunities in another industry if they so desire.

After concluding their visit to Hakuba, the team returned to the capital city on November 17, 2023, and proceeded to make a courtesy call to the Philippine Embassy Consular Office in Tokyo. Charge d’ Affaires Robespierre L. Bolivar and Attaché Jackie Lou C. Ong, warmly welcomed the group, assuring both university officials and the Tokyu Hotels group of the Embassy’s unwavering support and assistance for the first batch of interns.

CDA Bolivar commended the collaboration between the university and the Japanese partner industry, emphasizing that this internship program marked a significant milestone as the first formalized initiative of its kind in Japan. The UB executives, accompanied by Ms. Sally Fukuoda and Mr. Ito Masahiro of the Tokyo Hotels and Resorts Co. Ltd., expressed their gratitude to the Embassy for its commitment. Both parties hoped for a positive and far-reaching impact of the internship program on students in the hospitality industry. (Leo Armando B. Boncales)