APRIL 10, 2014


Distinguished guests, officials of the Mindanao State University system, visitors, parents, faculty, staff and graduates, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant and wonderful morning to all.

Today is a date to remember to all graduates who happen to unfold another chapter in their lives. I fully know that MSU-IIT is a dream institution to enroll in. I, for one, desired to be in this academic institution being known for its quality education. However, my passion for military service brought me to the academy. If only my preferred degree was offered at MSU-IIT, I should have been one of the alumni of this prestigious institution.

I have dreamt of being an IITian, but time has lapsed. I can no longer claim MSU-IIT as my Alma Mater. But today, not just your dreams come true but mine also as the Institute’s invited Commencement Speaker. I will mark this date not just your 44th Commencement Exercises but also a date that marks my affiliation to the institution of my dream. I can now tell my siblings, that your Alma Mater is also my home.

Way back on July 12, 1968, by virtue of Republic Act No. 5363 – “An Act changing the name of the Northern Mindanao Institute of Technology to Iligan Institute of Technology, integrating it as a unit of the Mindanao State University, and for other purposes”, provided the Charter of this Academic Institution that, for decades, you have been soaring the heights of academic excellence.

Exactly 93 days today before your 46th Founding Anniversary, you have proven all these years your commitment to academic excellence. Your vision of MSU-IT as a world class institution of higher learning renowned for its excellence in science and technology, and for its commitment to the holistic development of the individual and society is now happening. The able leadership of the dynamic MSU System President Macapado Muslim and the exemplary leadership of MSU-IIT Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol will soon revise your vision as you must have realized what you have dreamed of. A vision loses its relevance when all it says becomes a reality. Hence, you have to set the bar higher for you to face another arena of challenges.

This year’s Commencement theme “Greater Heights through Internationalization” poses the challenge of expanding the domain of MSU-IIT as an academic institution. It calls for the Institute to widen its horizon to go beyond the MINSUPALA Region. The theme means explore and conquer the world through academic excellence. The paradigm shift of the Institute has its opportune time now. International and global perspectives should be integrated and becomes systemic in your 115 academic programs that include 43 graduate programs in various fields of study ranging from education, business, arts and humanities, engineering, information technology, natural sciences and mathematics. You have what it takes to be a global, higher educational institution. You have the best, the brightest and the cream of the crop in human resources numbering 400 top caliber full time faculty members whose passion is not just teaching but also includes research, extension and community development.

MSU-IIT is an education landmark of Iligan City. It is a vital infrastructure and facility that has catalyzed the city’s growth and development. This institution becomes a pillar of socio-economic and political development of Iligan. Your accomplishments and achievements both global and national always brings the City of Iligan. You bring the banner of the City wherever you go and we do take pride of you.

In your quest for global competitiveness and internationalization, my administration fully supports such desire. The City Government of Iligan has the full trust and confidence in the technical capacities and the competencies of this institution to help us run the government well. Proof of that confidence is the instrument we have forged just recently. Let Iligan City be the domain of your studies and make our government units and bureaucracies be your training ground. We have opened the door of the city to welcome students and faculty members to learn from us and, in return, we will learn from you.

MSU-IIT has proven to be excellent time and again. The study conducted every 10 years by the PRC and CHEd based on the average passing rate in the Board Exams of all courses from different universities and colleges in the Philippines. The data gathered are the latest records from concerned agencies dated, October 2012 Listing Top 20 Schools in the Philippines with MSU-IIT of Iligan City ranking Number 8. It is a living testament that you have elevated and upgraded yourself to be at par with the leading universities in the country. You may not be of the cutting edge in terms of facilities that will aid your research and extension services but the quality for education services you have rendered and provided is always of great leverage. You have produced topnotchers and quality graduates at a lesser cost compared to that of leading universities and colleges in the country. You have developed mechanisms that afforded opportunities for the poor but brilliant students not just in MINSUPALA but to the rest of the country in general. You have truly bridged the gap between the rich and poor as far as education is concerned. You have reaffirmed the fact that in MSU-IIT quality education need not cost parents a fortune.

The real challenge that MSU-IIT must hurdle is how to cope with the global demands of quality and competitive higher education. You rank 288th in the Southeast Asian Top Universities and 6,741 in the World Rankings among Top Universities. This is where you have focus in the years to come. Your effort must focus on elevating and or improving your ranking in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.

Iligan City is now looking forward that MSU-IIT will be among the top ten universities in Asia and perhaps, among the top 20 in the world. Let this be the new vision and goal of the Institute in the next years to come. By doing so, you put Iligan in the global map of academic excellence. You will make Iligan lead in education tourism as you start accepting international students by then. Rest assured that in such endeavor the City Government of Iligan will provide full support and cooperation with the Institute so that together we can make it to the top.

Let me remind the faculty and staff of MSU-IIT that such challenge is not impossible or even difficult for you to overcome. To date, the plight of your graduates already goes global and they do excel. I will tell you now that TATAK IIT has already conquered the world Your nurses, engineers, educators, accountants, IT staff, scientists, mining experts, physicists, chemists, industrial engineers, sociologists, political scientists, psychologists and linguists are found in four corners of the globe. They do excel not because they are out of the country, they do because they were trained, honed and seasoned by MSU-IIT.

To the graduates, congratulations. This early I will tell you good luck to your future jobs. I am pretty sure that you are assured of employment aside from your respective degrees, your transcript of records and your being an IITian will attract more employers and institutions who want to have quality human resources that will boost organizational and institutional growth and development. This is an edge that MSU-IIT can offer that other universities cannot.

I admire MSU-IIT for giving way to the realization of various dreams among the poor but deserving students who are enrolled and whose tuitions are subsidized by the government. I know for a fact that a lot of well off families send their children to MSU-IIT to avail of its quality education. But the sons and daughters of farmers, fisher folks, side walk vendors, farm workers, tricycle drivers, and other informal sector workers whose income is not sufficient to educate their children to a reputable institution they have no choice but to enroll in MSU-IIT. This is where MSU-IIT has provided equal opportunity between the haves and the have-nots like me. The Institute’s heart for the poor is what I share most.

Graduates, you all have the elements of luck and best academic training to face the highly competitive job market. You do have the edge — just add confidence to it to make it perfect.

Finally, my dear graduates, remember always that TATAK IIT is always means QUALITY and EXCELLENCE. You have defied expectations and reinforces the fact that IITians conquer all. As you leave your Alma Mater, you are all tasked to soar high and conquer the world by spreading the message that you can rise to the challenges of the modern world. Iligan City is proud to have MSU-IIT and MSU-IIT will be prouder to have you.

God Bless. MabuhayMaayong Iligan sa tanan.

Topics : iligan city