Free college tuition in the country’s state universities and college (SUCs) became a reality during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte because the government believes in investing in our youth, said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
In his commencement address at the graduating rites of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) on Thursday, Nograles said the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Law signed by the President last year “was a major breakthrough” and “a victory for parents who just want a better future for their children.”
“After all the ceremonies, speeches and honors, think ahead of getting a job; putting up a business or furthering your studies.”
Nograles added that the measure was also “a triumph for you and the 1.3 million students enrolled in the over 100 SUCs in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao; and a win for the 104 million Filipinos who, with their taxes, are betting on all of you to take our country to greater heights.”
“In my opinion, you are all better investments than a lotto ticket. Mas sigurado ang return on investment,” he said.
“As someone who grew up recognizing the value of education, and as someone who was also an Iskolar ng Bayan in my four years in Philippine Science High School, I know this by heart,” added the Palace official from Davao.
“They should keep in mind that they play a role in development and growth.”
“This is why during my three terms as representative of the First District of Davao, my office tried to assist as many scholars as we could; this is why I was an outspoken supporter and co-author of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Law; and this is why as Chairperson of the Committee on Appropriations I worked to ensure funding for free college tuition in our state universities and colleges,” explained the former Chair of the House Committee on Appropriations.
Nograles reminded the newest graduates of MSU-IIT that as “scholars of the people,” they should keep in mind that they play a role in the development and growth, not only of Mindanao, but the whole country.
“Napakahalaga ang papel ninyong mga graduate, napakahalaga ng tungkulin ng inyong Pamantasan, sa kabuoang adyenda ng pag-unlad para sa ating rehiyon at bayan,” stressed Nograles.
“When you get out of this gymnasium, after all the ceremonies, speeches and honors, think ahead of getting a job; putting up a business or furthering your studies. But plan and do that with a mindset of a contributor, of an important stakeholder; of an important part of a big team. That team is Team Mindanao. That team is Team Philippines.”