TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority)

T-PascuaWe are now entering our 34th year as an institution, and we shall have six graduations this year as programmed. We estimated that we shall have about 600 graduates in total by the end of the year. This being the 1st Graduation we thought to anchor it by having with us the leadership of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. We are fortunate that we have the Deputy Director General of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, he, prior to be in TESDA, chair the board of Trustees Wesleyan University in Cabanatuan, and he took a leave as partner of a Law firm that he formed with a couple of colleagues, therefore he rendered full time to us. He graduated from The University of the Philippines in Diliman in the Law School and had a bachelor's Degree in Political Science in the same University. I had a conversation with him last week and, what I felt was that he would be prouder to be distinguished as a good husband and a good father to his kids. And because he quoted for 3 times the words “Seek here first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you”, I perceive that he is striving to be a good son to our good Lord. Ladies and Gentlemen let us welcome Atty. Ted Pascua.

First and foremost, I bring congratulations from our institution, TESDA, as well as our Director General Sec. Irene Isaac, and congratulations to all of you. But then a value that Filipinos have is we must give credit, where credit is due. So may I first request our administrators, trainors and everybody that constitute Dualtech to please rise.

I think they deserve your warmest congratulations and a warm applause. Without them, perhaps even your mentors and your trainors and teachers, you would not have reached this stage of your life. Second, siguro people who have given patience, love, understanding and support to all of you, and so may I request all parents including lolos, lolas, aunties, uncles, kuya, ate, baka meron pang anak dyan, to please rise for our graduates. Maraming salamat po! And finally, let us all give our warmest applause to God Almighty.

I would like to give you quite short clips. Something that we hope you would be able to remember, even as you step out from this hall, Graduation or commencement is not necessarily an ending but it is also a beginning of a new stage of your life.

First, Do embrace excellence, tapos na po yung panahon, and I hope our trainors and teachers have inculcated to you. Di na pwedeng, “pwede na” “papasa na yan” “ayos na yan” “okay na yan” dapat kilala nila tayo, we should be known as a country embracing and promoting excellence. Ano ang excellence sa Tagalog? Hindi po yan yung tindahan pag pasko, dun tayo bibili ng lechon or anything for Christmas, hamon. Ito po ay kung bibigyan natin ng kahulugan ng ilang salita, ang tawag ko po dito. Wala nang hahanapin pa. Kaya tingnan natin ang ating mga magulang, mga magulang tingin sa kaliwa at sa kanan, asawa ninyo, masasabi nyo bang wala na kayong hahanapin pa. Sana ang ibig sabihin ng ugong nayan ay “tama wala na akong hahanapin pa” at hindi “meron pa akong hahanapin” kasi kung naghahanap pa baka bukas nasa ibang lugar na. Dapat tayo, ganun din mga kabataan. Wala nang hahanapin pa sa atin. Itong employers natin that were with us, dapat sabihin nila, “wala na akong hahanapin pa”. I wont look for anything else, I found everything in you. Including a very promising future, you may not be the perfect guy for them but they know, there is a future as they see in you. Many of you are not yet totally matured enough. Many still have other things that you can still develop, in fact I would like to say, all of us, for as long as we live, there is still something that needs to be seen, that we're just unable to bring out. Siguro ang akala naten pag natapos na, graduate na, ayos na. Remember, in technical education, we want to promote life-long learning, habang nabubuhay ka dito sa mundo, nag-aaral ka pa rin, meron ka pa rin matututunan, never say “I have done my studies, I am finished, and I should stop.” you know, I graduated in 1982, the same year when Dualtech was established, from law school. And when I joined TESDA, 6 years ago, I have to study what technical education is all about. And I have been practicing law for the last 27 years. My classmates were telling me. “Ted pa-retire na tayo, ano bang pumasok sa utak mo at sumali kapa sa gobyerno?” We may not have everything but we have quite saved enough not only for us but for our children. Kaya lang you know what I've thought in my mind and in my heart that motivated me to accept the offer to serve government even at the age 52. If my children can live comfortably in their own homes or houses, build walls and their neighbors do not have enough, can I say that my children are in good condition to live life. Diba? O di kaya'y nakakatiwasa, ang kapitbahay mo hindi, ayan ba'y makakatulog ng tama? Matuwid? At tahimik? That is one of the main motivations that I have to accept government work and say I'm not yet done. There is something that I can still do, for my nation, for my country, and for my neighbors, and for my children. Excellence, Embrace excellence.

Second, continue to learn and improve. There's no stopping, you have been in your company and you have learned. I am sure you learned more than for the last six months that you were here in school. But even after you finished your training, in the Dualtech system, I am sure many things will still come your way. Do not stop learning, continue to learn and improve. I have learned even I was 52, even now I am still learning. Kung minsan ang ating mga magulang, ayaw na. Lalo na pag retired na. Tingnan ninyo, bigyan ninyo ng bagong telepono o di kaya cellphone ang inyong mga magulang, the top of the line what will they say to you?, “Nak, thank you. Ayos ito, pero pwede ba ung mas simple? Ayoko nang mag-isip pa, pagaralan pa ito. Napakakomplikado nito.” Diba? I suppose that when we embrace excellence, we must continue to learn and improve and improve and improve. Don't say na “Okay na si Valedictorian, hindi ako valedictorian.” No. out there, the moment you go out, pantay pantay kayo ulit. You will have to continue charting the path and the touch guidance on where should you go. But remember God doesn't force you. You have to walk with it. If you want to be excellent, if you want to continue learning and improving, you cannot say “God improve me, or make me excellent.” You have your own task to do.

Thirdly, Remain humble with strengthened faith in God and Country. You know, just a few months ago, when our pope visited the Philippines, Everybody started to be hyped-up in faith. Nang umalis sya, hyped-up parin tayo. But as the days go by. I do not know who among you have that same fervor of faith and belief in God. Especially when trials come. Here is one thing that I can share with you, I was in Tacloban during the graduation of our Isuzu training center. But Yolanda was already coming in, I was supposed to visit areas in other areas in Region 8 but the storm was already coming. It was a very bad storm, so our officials were telling me, “sir if it's okay if we cancel our trip. And you can go back already, we are afraid for you.” so I told them, I need my condition, my itinerary. If you think it is not safe to go around, then okay we can go back. They started arranging all the officials of Isuzu from the Japanese to the Filipino officials. They all left after the Graduation, at 6 o'clock they were flying back to Manila. I did not get a new ticket immediately. So I have to wait until the next morning. At 5 o'clock our staff was already there in the airport trying to get a free sitting for me as a chance passenger flight. Nothing, walang makuha. So they were worried. And finally they got 1. So I have to wait from morning until evening, and I was at number 23 or 25. We were able to visit some places there. They walked me around and some of those places no longer exist today. At 5 o'clock we went back to the airport. And lo and behold, there were only 3 people waiting on the line. So my being 25 became number 3 or number 4, and our regional director was so happy. Eventually I bid them goodbye. And then in the evening I was still texting early morning. Another few text exchange and she never responded anymore, that was the time all the cell sites were broken down and I never heard from them until Sunday early morning. I was texting some other officials that we have, in the northern part of region 8 and they were able to send somebody, walking. Somebody had a motorbike and visited our center in Tacloban. And in the evening of Sunday he texted me. Most of them even our regional Director were safe but it was terrible here. And that's we started doing a lot of immediate things the following Monday.

Continue to have strengthened faith in God and in your country. Whenever I go out a few years back of the country, I was part of those who went there ask ,san po kayo galing? Minsan sabihin mo pilipino ako tapos, nakakahiya. But recently when I went abroad one of the stewardesses asked me, “from which country do you come from?” Syemre taas noo na akong ganan. “I come from the Philippines!” Sabi nya “Yes I Like Philippines, I like Boracay”. Some say I like Palawan. But most said. I LIKE THE PHILIPPINES. Ngayon ang taglay natin, its more fun in the Philippines. We complain about what exist today. We complain a lot of thing about traffic, I come from Manila and it took 2 ½ hours to take me in the office and about 1 ½ hours to get back to my house. It is only because of traffic. Kaya lng pag sinasabi nating, I want to leave the Philippines because of traffic. I think that's the worst reason to leave the country. Because the traffic wont get out. One guy was asking me. Ang hirap ng traffic. I have been in this place for the last 58 years. I have never seen this line of trucks carrying goods from morning to evening until that early morning that long. Never. That is progress for you? For those who are skeptics, tayo ba'y umuunlad? Sabi ko nga, why is the causes of traffic is the number of vehicles flying the roads of Metro Manila when the roads remain the same. But my questions is this, Bakit dumami ang sasakyan? Edi dumami ung pera. Para ung tao nakabili ng sasakyan. Di ba? It's simple appreciation but it is true. Therefore let me tell you there is no other place in the world that you will be first class citizen except in the Philippines. You go abroad, you cannot blame them if they treat us like a trash. We belong to the Philippines. Tingnan mo ung katabi mo. Ung ilong ba nya matangos? Yung kulay ba nya maputi? O sobrang kaitiman? Nung kame ay kabataan. Meron kaming kanta. “wag kang mahihiya kung ang ilong mo ay pango.” yung iba gusto ay ayusin yung hinaharap. At ung pinangalingan o likuran we are beautiful the way we are. Some people outside our country go to the Philippine shores to get themselves tanned but you're the perfect owner of the skin. Hindi sumobra. Hindi kumulang. So please. Remember you are in the Philippines. You are in the best country. God intended you to be. You will never be first wherever outside the Philippines even if you strive. They were telling me look, sino ung number 1 sa house keeping, ung number 1 sa automotive, number 1 employee, always the filipino? I say yes. They may become first in many alyas. Why cant we become first here? Parents, didnt you observe that. You send people abroad. They become first. But here. We are all filled with complain and set down who will become first. Who is number 1 in the call center business? They will say the number 1 is Filipino employee. The number 1 owner of the call centers or business processing centers are Indians. Not the Filipinos. I hope some of you. If not some of our countrymen will eventually invade that area in becoming number 1 also. Pero dito talaga tayo I was sitting beside the brother of owners of Metrobank. During the awarding of teachers a few months ago. And they were asking me from what institution do you come from? So I said TESDA. Sabi nya. Yan ung nagpapadala ng workers abroad. Yes some of them go abroad but we don't send them abroad, kung pwede lang dito tayong lahat. Kung pwede lng wag na tayo pumunta abroad. Kaya lang kung minsan ay ang takda ng ating buhay ay pumunta abroad. Sino sa inyo mga kabataan ang gustong magtrabaho sa ibang bansa? Gusto ba ninyo o sinabi ng mga magulang nyo sa sa inyo? 6 years I have been going around the country, as Deputy Director General of TESDA and I went to 26 of our TESDA schools dedicated to fisheries and agriculture. Ano ang unang course na nakalagay doon? Akala ko fisheries akala ko agriculture unang nakalagay doon, these were welding, automotive, house keeping, computer. Sabi ko dun sa mga administrators namin, ang inyong core competency ay fisheries and agriculture, bakit ganan? “Sir. Wala nmn estudyante.” E papano ung magsasaka? “Sir they sent they're children in so they can go abroad.” I hope there will come a time that even you abroad you will come back and bring the knowledge, skills, and maturity you get from abroad so that our countrymen can grow and mature in the same way.

Fourth. Share your knowledge and experiences for the good of our people and the next generation. Look at you administrators and trainors. Why are they still here? I look at your president here. Hinahabol ko na din ung putting buhok. Most of them not all are qualified into a higher training job outside Dualtech. You guys given about 5-10 years you will be fetching a higher pay outside than if you were here. But why are you still here? I think you should look as an example of your parents perhaps your administrator especially and trainors. Why? They are worried for the next generation. I talked to a lot of them, sabi nila “yung aming natutunan mas gusto naming ibigay sa susunod na henerasyon susunod na saling lahi”. And I hope that transfers to you. Meron kayong mga anak. You should desire and work that your children will be better than you. Lets make the next generation of Filipino way way far better than who we are today. I have been sharing with some of my colleagues as well as a graduation like this it is only now for the last few years. I have 3 children, I talked to my children. You know what I imagine. I look at the parents and our trainors seriously this way? If I am a 50-year-old individual with all the skills knowledge, and capabilities that I have and able to transfer everything to my 24-year-old 1st child, to my 22-year-old 2nd child, and my 21-year-old 3rd child. Everything that I know, everything that I'm capable of. I wonder, what kind of 24-year-old will they be having a mind of a 50-year-old man. Ganda no? It took 58 years to know what I know now. But if they are only half my age and they know everything that I know even my skills, even the way I speak, even the way I deal with people. What kind of generation would that be? Think about it. Even if we go out. I tell them, we meet outside. I show them how do I deal with our servers, our waiters, and a lot. First and foremost, I make the job light for them I joke, then later on they feel a little light, wala na ung tense na baka magreklamo ito customer na ito. Ayyy mali ung nakalagay dito. I put them at ease. I joke, but sometimes sabi nga ng mga anak ko “Papa here you go again.” 24 hours itatanong ko sa kanila. “Anong oras kau nagsisimula?” Magkakamot ng ulo. “Sir 7 o'clock ako nandito eh” after a while they feel light. They treat you as if you are a relative. Then they even say. “Sir ito I-order nyo mas maganda to. Wag nyo ng dagdagan, dadagdagan ko na” that's the way that they feel because of the respect and the kind of treatment you give to people. All I'm trying to say is. We Filipinos are known by our hospitality. So if you can treat them with hospitality, even if they are mandated to be hospitable to you. What is the golden rule? Do unto others what you want others do unto you. It demands something from you first before you can expect something from another.

Lastly be the new breed of Filipinos. Kung minsan nagrereklamo tayo. Padating nanaman ang eleksyon daming nagtatanong saken, sino po bang iboboto naten? Sabi ko, bakit ako ang tinatanong nyo? Kung sinabi ko sa inyo kung sinong iboboto, pag pumalya ako ang sisisihin nyo. Please be responsible for who we vote for. Sometimes I do it this way. I do an elimination. I have not decided yet. But I eliminate, ayoko ng ganito, ayoko ng ganyan, anong natitira? Yun na lng siguro. Kesa sabihin mong ay ito na lang ito ung may pinakamaraming like sa facebook. Ito ung pinapalakpakan ito yung nasa survey. We should be responsible for the names that we put in. Walang sisihan dito. Because the only one who should be blamed if something goes wrong will be us. Kasi binoto natin ehh, wag nyong sisisihin yun pag naging presidente tapos pumalya, binoto naten eh. Lets go to something else that I know you guys would take in mind clearly.

Sabi nila skill is the next global currency. I got this from a European literature in 2013 when I was a attending the word skills of division I heard you loud and clear. Specially our valedictorian “gusto kong magkaroon ng college degree” Even our parent sabi ng parents “Anak, ipangungutang kona kahit yung kalabaw doon sa kapitbahay magkaroon ka lang ng degree sa college”. Makita ko lang yung diploma mong makalagay sa ding ding. kaya nga sabi nung valedictorian natin ay I was hoping to get it but, you know, kulang eh, and for you. This is the new challenge today. Hindi kau kawawa dito. Kayo ang kaiingitan in the coming months. And coming year. I will give you some statistics, raise your 10 finger or 2 hands. We are improving but this is where we are coming from out of the 10 Filipinos who will go to elementary, take away 5, maiwan ung 5, 5 will not go to high school. Sabi ng DepEd 4.5 lng. Out of 5 who goes to high school. Tanggalin mo ung dalawa. 3 ang pupunta sa College. So 7 na ang tumigil. For any reason, mahirap, hindi na kaya, out of 3 that goes to college sabi ng CHED 1.5- 2 will finish their college course or pass their professional examination, out of 2 only 1 can get to work. That is the sad stage that where we are right now, because everybody wants to get a college degree. You are in a better position, I am telling you I am not quarreling with CHED they know it. Sec. Licuanan has been quoted several times to consider technical education. Imagine that 3 to go to college 2 to graduate, and 1 to take a job. Pero sa inyo, how many graduated today? 102? in 6 months time how many can get to work? 100%. In TESDA we have about 67% who get TESDA courses get to work, dun sa college, 40%, or less. I do not say no to college ha. I am bringing you good news under the current system we have, we have Republic Act. 10647 and that's the ladderized education act, which will give you equivalence very soon so you can go to college and finish your engineering degree in less than 4 years. RA 10650 is open distance learning, while working you get enroll. Studying via internet or wifi or CD's. And you can finish your college degree. Do not be sad that wala kayong college degree. Sell yourself to work, work yourself to college. Do not kill your parents early by sending you to college. Tingnan nyo naman si nanay at tatay oh. Namumuti na. Let them rest. Many of them deserves it.

We are gazelles. Another word for that will be deer. What is the characteristic of a deer does it walk one step at a time or does it jump? In 2009, In the Philippines at the age of 23 malaki ang percentage ng graduates natin ng higher education. Look at the US, UK, Italy, Japan, Russia. They go to college at the age of 35-45, hindi po nakakahiya kung abot sa college ang 35-45. I have a classmate in law school. We are all 21, 22, 23. meron akong kaklaseng 30 years old. 1st week ayaw tumabi ng mga kaklase sa kanya. Bakit? Sabi nila. Bakit ako tatabi dyan, wala nmn akong makokopya. Tumagal yan sa Highschool. But he's one of the best. Kaya hindi nakakahiyang pumasok ng college at 35-45. Kung ang graduate nating valedictorian, 22 naging valedictorian ka naman.

Same study, at the age of 23 wala pang $5000 a year ang kinikita. Bakit? Graduate, walang trabaho. Graduate, hindi trained para sa trabaho. Yan ang ating sinusulusyunan na ngayon. Yan yung tinatawag na job mismatch. Kaya please, you are much better of those who are about to or have graduated from college. Do not tell yourself, “kawawa nmn ako. Ang kapatid ko, kaklase ko graduate ng college. Mind you. You may be better of. One of our graduates in TESDA, I wont mention his name, kasi sumulat na, sir pwede wag nyo sasabihin ung pangalan ko. Nag-aral sya in 2013, 2 NC ang nakuha nya. Automobile servicing and heavy equipment operations NCII after 1 year, nagtrabaho sya, nag-asawa, kumikita na, so sufficient for them to live. Nakalusot pumunta sa Australia, do you know how much is he earning now? It is more than 225,000 pesos a month, I never heard 225,000 pesos in law, and I had to spend 8 years. Think about that. Age, we have our Japanese partner, 2009, sabi nila this graph represents the age of the people in the country. Ang majority ng kanilang age, is between 50-65. Sabi ni former ambassador ng Japan, by 2020, majority of the citizens of Japan will be senior citizens, imagine mo kung 60-70% of Filipinos are senior Citizens. Tingnan natin sino dito ang 15 years old and below, walang magpanggap. Buti na lng di ako magsasabing liars go to hell, sino yung 65 and above? More? Dont deny. Sasamahan ko kayo may discount na kayo eh. I'll get mine in 2 more years. Okay we have 2 there. Who are between 15 and 65? raise your hand. Look at where the Philippine is? In 2014 yan tayo. In short. Up to 2015, we will have majority from 15-65. Baka wala na din ako dito by 2050. It is about 35 more years. 35 plus my age. Nung nagkita kame ng mga kaklase ko sa law school. 2007, 25th year namin. Sabi nila pare magkitakita tayo. Dapat every year. Sabi ng isa wag maggastos yan, magkita na lng tayo sa 50th year. 25 years from 2007. bakit naman ganun? Para pagandahan tayo ng chicks na nagtutulak ng wheel chair natin. I'll be attending a wake of my classmate again, and it's my third classmate who has to kick the bucket. Will we still be here by 2050? some of your parent will no longer be here, you more certainly will still be here. This is your generation, no longer ours, and we're trying, your administrators, your parents, are trying to look our best to give this past few years for the best to you. So you can still spend and hit our target as Filipinos in the next few years. Just to prove to you how young we are, sa statistics office ito by 2020,15-60 years old will be 68%, dito na tayo. A hundred million na tayo. 68% dyan are between 15-60 years old. By 2020, 68 million yan. We are one of the youngest countries in the South East Asia, kaya dapat worried tayo sa government, sa mga pulitiko, sa mga elders parents, even trainors, how do we prepare, our young people for the coming year. Yan ang challenge sa satin. I look at you kase ito yung produkto nyo e. There's a chance for the Philippines to develop. There's a study by HSBC this came out in 2012, the Philippines is set to leapfrog 27 places to become the 16th largest economy by 2050. that's a prediction, assuring we're doing the right thing year after year after year. Now it's a yearly study number 23 na lng tayo. Bumaba tayo ng konti, kase tumataas ung ibang bansa. Can this be possible? Do you think by 2050, nandyan pang mga magulang nyo? We cannot demand nor determine when will we go. may request lang kami sa inyo, pede ba wag na nating hintayin ang 2050? baka 2030 hihirit pa ako. 14 more years. Pwede? Kung pede nga 10 more years, baka di na kami maka-intay. Maamoy lang namin kung ano ung number 16 in the world, malanghap lng natin kung ano ang hitsura ng number 16, wala na sa amin yun eh nasa inyo na.

Competitiveness index is it possible? Sabi ng global competitive index nung 2010 number 85 tayo out of 144 countries, nung 2011 75 tumalon, nung 2012 65 tumalun na naman. Not one step, but jumping like gazelles, nung 2013, 59, 2014, 52, 2015, 47. what will be in 2016? will become delayed o mag aadvance tayo. Ano sa tingin nyo? Mag-aadvance? Bulag lng ang nagsasabing hindi tayo nag-iimprove. No prejudice to the blind, yun lng ayaw tumingin. Sabi nga nila “mahirap gisingin ang gising” ung nag sasabing hindi tayo uunlad. Pasensya na po. Umuunlad po tayo. Bagamat hindi po umaabot sa pinakibaba, hindi pa. Pero bumababa at bumababa nayan. Ika ko nga bakit tayo nag kakatraffic? Dumadami ang may pera dumadami ang bumibili ng sasakyan, kaya tayo nagkakatraffic. Kaya tayo may pulusyon nasasainyo na kung anong gagawin natin. I review this story. Tingnan nyo nga ung tatay nyo. Andyan o. namumuti na ang mga buhok. Pati si nanay nandito kayo, mga kabataan, may kwento, dun sa isang barangay sa probisya may tinatawag na old man of the village. Usually matalino yan. Sila yun pinupuntahan ng mga may gulo o may problema, yung old man of the village, may isang kabataan katulad ninyo, sabi nya. Gusto kong maging katulad nya. Gusto ko talunin ko sya habang bata pa ako. Di na makaantay. So isang araw, pinuntahan nya sabi nya, tatang kayo ang pinakamatalino dito sa ating barangay, may hawak akong ibon, sa likuran ng aking katawan nasa kamay ko, tanong ko sa inyo buhay ba ito o patay? Sabi ng matanda, alam ko na, matalino ka. Kasi kung sasabihin kong patay yan, madali mo lng mabubuksan ang yong kamay at palipadin ang ibon, edi talagang mas matalino ka kesa saken. Pero kung sabihin kong yan ay buhay, napakadaling kitilin ang buhay nyan at ilabas ang ibon ng patay. Mga kabataan wala na sa aming mga kamay kung mabubuhay o mamamatay ang kinabukasan ang ating bansa, nasa inyong mga kamay na. Aanhin nyo? Papatayin natin? o bubuhayin?

To the graduates of Dualtech 2016, congratulations to all of you. And may God bless you all.