Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III represented Vice President Jejomar Binay as keynote speaker at yesterday’s 13th Commencement Exercises of the Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology, in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
Pimentel read the speech of Binay, who could not come as he had been tasked by President Benigno Aquino III to represent the Philippines at the ongoing 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea.
In his speech, Binay urged the NONESCOST graduates to “use their skills, knowledge and influence only for what is right.” Strive to make all of our involvements – home, work or socio-civic – arenas where individual freedoms are used for men and women to become active contributors to genuine progress (of the country) at the grassroots level, Pimentel read from the speech, a copy of which was furnished the DAILY STAR yesterday.
As the nation’s scholars, just like him, the vice president said that amid the hardship of student life, the graduates are fortunate to be worrying only about passing their examinations while others worried about where the next meal would come from.
“Prosperity will not be realized overnight. Like the degrees that will be conferred on you shortly, it is the product of daily victories strung together towards a logical and inevitable conclusion,” he said.
Binay said the task begins not tomorrow, but today, and that, the graduates must be the channels for more people to take part in the process, and through that, “we will see a world brighter than the one we were born into.”
He told the graduates that the education they have received is the best that their alma mater can provide.
The difference in obtaining education from a state college or university, Binay pointed out, is that, through public, education, one is molded to become, not only a skilled professional, but more importantly, as citizens who voluntarily serve others and the community, so, other people would also have a bright future.
He also urged the graduates to use their skills and knowledge to help solve the problems of the people from whose taxes they are able to study.
“You are the hope of the people. Through the right path you are treading, may you not forget your responsibility. Keep the flame of love for country ablazed in your hearts,” Binay urged. Any criticism against wrongdoings must be based on fair judgment of the circumstances, he said.
Our rise from poverty needs more than just a program of action; it demands a culture of commitment and justice, a desire to live within the law and its rule. For this revolution to bear fruit, it must first take root in each and every one of us, Binay also said.
He added that government alone cannot secure victory. It can only lead the people to the right path but the people must want to walk that path all the way to the end.*