MANILA — Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on Wednesday asked graduates of Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU) to believe in the Philippines and take full advantage of the opportunities available in the country, one of only two Asian nations expected to grow 6 percent or more in 2015.
Addressing graduates at the 67th Commencement Exercises of MLQU, Ochoa said that the country has “100 million reasons to be optimistic about its future,” as foreign analysts have been bullish about the Philippines’ growing economy and its young, talented workforce.
“Our country is in the midst of steady economic growth, and that growth represents more opportunities for our citizens, especially young men and women like yourselves––who are now part of the one of the world’s youngest, best educated and most dynamic workforces,” Ochoa said.
The Executive Secretary cited a survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg which showed that the Philippines and China were the only two Asian economies forecasted to grow 6 percent or more this year. In the same survey, the Philippines was one of only five countries worldwide expected to grow 5 percent or more in the coming year, joining China, India, Indonesia and Kenya.
Quoting an article from business magazine Forbes, Ochoa said that foreign observers have high hopes for the country, which is “home to some of the most inspiring and promising talent in the world.”
“That talent is already demonstrated by Filipinos in companies around the globe and yet, it is only just a taste of what is possible and what is still to come,” Ochoa said.
“Believe in your country. Believe in yourselves. And believe that with the education you have received and the degrees you hold today, a bright future awaits you, your families and your country,” he added.
MLQU was established in 1947 to provide “ambitious but financially disadvantaged young people with the education and professional training needed to get ahead in life.” The university was founded by several prominent justices and lawyers who saw the need for a quality educational institution catering to the less privileged. Its founders include Leoncio B. Monzon, Sen. Lorenzo M. Tañada, Arsenio P. Dizon, Carmelino G. Alvendia, Justice Jose B. L. Reyes, Manuel O. Chan, and Anselmo S. Claudio.
Two secretaries in the Cabinet of President Benigno S. Aquino III are alumni of MLQU: Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.