[Following are the opening remarks by Dean Ramon L. Clarete before the graduating class of 2013 during the UPSE recognition ceremony held on 26 April 2013 at the University Theater.]


National Scientist and our Colleague in the Faculty, Dr. Raul V. Fabella,
Colleague in the Faculty, Dr. Emmanuel S. de Dios,
Fellow members of the Faculty of the School of Economics,
Staff of the School of Economics,
UPSEAA President, Atty. Ernest Albano,
Members of the Graduating Class,
Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the faculty of the School of Economics, I am very pleased and honored to welcome you all to this very memorable occasion – to witness the fruit of all the hard work, investment, and determination of particularly the members of the graduating class and their respective parents and families over several years to earn a degree in economics. This year the School will graduate a total of 132 undergraduate students, 11 of whom will do so magna cum laude, 59 cum laude, and 48 of them are in the Dean’s List. In addition, nine will be conferred the master in development economics, six the master of arts in economics, and one the Ph.D. in economics.

Members of the graduating class, you decided a few years back to pursue the economics profession. And just what exactly is that? I know this is not the time to convince you to stay in economics. It is not my intention to do so. But I do want to remind you about the following as we let go of you to join the real world. How will the degree that will be conferred on each of you in the next few days help in moving you and others in society to higher levels of well-being?

Economists are trained to be always mindful of the importance of keeping costs down to the necessary level in order to attain a higher level of efficiency in whatever undertaking that generates economic value. Prof. Oliver Williamson, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, distinguished in his 1985 book on the Economic Institutions of Capitalism  between production costs and transaction costs. And based on this, I distinguish two groups of economists.

To those of you who will be founding and running your respective businesses or those of you who plan to work for business establishments of other people, it is production costs that you will help cut down. Firms look to you to give them advice on how to do that and increase business profits. To the other group who may end up teaching in economics, or undertaking economic policy research and advising policy makers in government, you would be engaged in helping reduce what Prof. Kenneth Arrow, another Nobel Laureate in Economics, referred to in his 1969 article as transaction costs, “the costs of running the economic system”.

Whichever group you decide to belong to after graduation, it is very, very, very important that you respect the property rights of others in society in general. If property rights are not defined, work to fairly define those rights and the rules that govern how you interact with other people in your businesses, with other businesses, and with the rest of the society. Be transparent in your economic and social undertakings. While the temptation is strong to take advantage of conflicts of interest, you need to resist doing so, and to disclose them if they cannot be avoided. In so doing, you adhere to what the University has taught you all these years: integrity. Through integrity, we gain respect and higher levels of respect from the rest of society. By getting just what belongs to you, you can produce the greatest wealth you can accumulate: your good name in society.

Dear parents and families of the members of the graduating class, on behalf of the Faculty and Staff of the School, I wish to thank you for entrusting your loved ones to us, and letting us help you mold them into becoming good and productive members of society through their practice of the economics profession.

Members of the graduating class, please receive our heartfelt congratulations on your graduation. We wish you all the best in your future undertakings.

Thank you and welcome to the 2013 UPSE Recognition Rites.