[Opening remarks on the occasion of the 2015 Recognition Rites of the School of Economics, held on 26 June 2015, University Theatre, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City.]


Members of the faculty, distinguished guests, graduating students, parents, ladies and gentlemen

It is my privilege to welcome you to this recognition and awards ceremony for the graduating class of this 50th year of the UP School of Economics. We have 156 students earning degrees in BS Economics, and BS Business Economics. Note that 60 percent of them are graduating with Latin honors, two with summa cum laude. We also have 23 students earning their masters’ degrees.

Allow me to take this opportunity to thank two sets of parents. One set consists of those who tightened their belts to pay for the out-of-pocket expenses of a UP education. Most of these parents are here with us today. Please accept our warmest congratulations.

The other set of parents do not even know that they are being honored here today. These are the parents who pay the taxes that eventually fund the UP budget. Ironically, these parents are unlikely to consider sending their children to UP, even if the latter were sufficiently talented.

To the graduates, honor your two sets of parents by paying it forward. First, you have to become even better parents to your own children. Second, take on your responsibilities as second parents so that talented young Filipinos will have better chances at getting a UP education.

On that note, this recognition and awards ceremony is declared open.