Now is an especially good time to be a student of technology and help the country leap forward, Senate science committee chairman Edgardo Angara said Thursday.
Addressing the 39th Commencement Exercises of the University of Makati’s College of Computer Science, Angara said recent discoveries and breakthroughs present many opportunities.
"There has been no more exciting time in our history to be a student of technology than today: the era of information and communication, a time of great discoveries and frequent breakthroughs—and you belong to a program that is a prime creator of present and future knowledge and wealth," he said.
"The promise of the future to you is so great. You must not waste your youth and all the opportunities being offered to you, and I hope we will find you among those who will give generously back to our country and help it chart a more prosperous future." he added.
Angara, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, urged the new graduates to take advantage of opportunities offered to them as they enter the workforce.
"With the world so open and connected through technology, only your imagination will limit the opportunities you can create and seize," he said.
On the other hand, he lamented the Philippines' poor performance in worldwide competitiveness rankings especially in the mastery of math and science.
Such poor performance in science, math and technology "can explain why poverty remains a problem—we are not making the most out of our country’s potential for prosperity because we do not have sufficient capacity for S&T and innovation," he said.
Angara, who chairs the bicameral Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), science graduates are up against formidable challenges because the Philippines has historically fared poorly in S&T performance.
He said one way to improve this situation is by ensuring that graduates are highly skilled and trained, thereby productive and competitive.
"Our country needs the brightest minds to find these technologies, adapt them to our needs, and eventually innovate on them—in short make them for the Filipino, by the Filipino," he said.
Meanwhile, he reminded the graduates of their new role as productive members of society.
He also urged them to give back to the community that has provided them with excellent education.
"Filipinos are naturally creative. Equipped with the proper tools and adequate knowledge, Filipinos can create and innovate to the degree that will put them shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world. You should also consider yourself responsible because it will be up to your generation, and those to come, to turn that prediction into reality," he said.
"The promise of the future to you is so great. You must not waste your youth and all the opportunities being offered to you, and I hope we will find you among those who will give generously back to our country and help it chart a more prosperous future." he added. — TJD,