By Jaime Pilapil | The Manila Times
Vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has exhorted this year’s college graduates to learn more skills so that they could soon contribute to development of the country.
The senator from Ilocos Norte said while graduation is a great achievement in itself, members of the Class of 2016 should challenge themselves not only to be their family’s breadwinners but become the engine and drivers of the economy.
“All you have to do is to level up your skills, and assiduously look for golden opportunities available to you out there. Then, with hard work, and aided by good fortune, you shall all soon land your dream jobs and careers and become productive citizens in your communities,” he added.
Marcos said the graduates should also be prepared to face with strong confidence and conviction other challenges like the national unemployment rate of 6 percent and 7 percent in Metro Manila.
One-fifth of the unemployed, he noted, are college graduates.
According to the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), 40 percent of fresh college graduates–in the range of 500,000 to 600,000–find difficulty landing a job immediately after their graduation.
“I want you to prepare yourselves for these realities…You have to possess what the PMAP calls as functional skills such as critical thinking, initiative, and effective communication skills,” Marcos said.
By becoming productive, he added. the graduates will be able to serve the community in the form of taxes, which will then “pay forward” and support the education of future batches of students of the country.
He congratulated the graduates for clearing academic hurdles as well as their parents for investing in the education of their children.
“So this is not the end for you, dear graduates, but just the beginning of new challenges. This is not the time to get tired and stop. Definitely, not at this point,” Marcos said.