Iloilo Science and Technology University was honored as the first and the only university whose invitation was accepted by Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner J. Prospero E. De Vera III as the Guest Speaker of the university’s 83rd Commencement Exercises on April 5, 2017 .
“To tell you the truth, this is my first and only commencement address in a state university since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte appointed me CHED commissioner in August 2016 and I have, as a matter of practice, declined all invitations to speak in graduation exercises because of my very tight schedules,” he said. “I decided to stay in the country because I had accepted your invitation today. Ganyan kayo kalakas sa akin. Pero huwag ninyo akong isusumbong sa Presidente baka utusan akong humabol sa Netherlands.” Commissioner De Vera was supposed to be in Amsterdam, Netherlands as an adviser of the Philippine negotiating panel with the National Democratic Front, New Peoples’ Army and Communist Party of the Philippines (NDF/CPP/NPA) to start the 4th round of talks.
The Commissioner started his address to the 1,956 graduating students giving emphasis to the role of parents in their success and the hardship they endure to make their children complete a course. He requested all graduating students to stand up, look and smile at their parents say thank you by a thumbs up sign.
The importance of how will the graduates use their diploma in the future was underlined by De Vera, “Like being given a stone or clay, nobody gets to appreciate your diploma unless you sculpt or mold it creatively into something of aesthetic or artistic value.”
The role of Philippine higher learning institutions like ISAT U as an instrument of every Filipino family in poverty alleviation and the CHED’s all out support of providing access to higher education was also given emphasis by the commissioner. “We at the Commission are fully support of the important role now being played by Iloilo Science and Technology University in promoting access for all students that seek it.”
He also called on the graduate to increase their competencies considering that employment opportunities are fast becoming a scarce resources. “Each graduate are a privileged few that completed higher education and it is their responsibility to make full use of their new knowledge and competencies,” he said.
Commissioner De Vera capped his message by challenging the graduating class to dare to dream and go for it, “You will never possess what you are unwilling to pursue.” He punched on the challenge to every graduate’s heart by saying: “So dare to dream and believe. Start now. Start today. I shall leave you with the challenge to make your life a masterpiece. “