Learn from experience, whether it’s good or bad.
Graduating students from the Pangasinan State University earned this piece of advice from former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who spoke in their commencement ceremony.
“Good grades may be among your achievements, but these are not the only ones…..No matter how insignificant the small experiences in school seem, these experiences – good or bad — are great teachers that tell you about yourself and how you interact with the world. You can rely on your experiences to tell you what your strengths are and where your weaknesses lie. Build on your strengths, avoid repeating your mistakes and try to lessen your weaknesses,” she said.
Arroyo’s many years in politics have been marked by achievements and controversies, which led to her detention for four years on plunder and graft charges. She was, however, put under hospital arrest for health considerations. Her cases have since been dismissed by the Supreme Court in 2016.
In her speech, Arroyo stressed the importance of education to the country’s growth, saying that the best investment any government could make was on human resources.
“President Duterte has ordered free tuition for students in selected tertiary education schools, including PSU, because our human infrastructure is the country’s best singular resource and education is very high in our value ladder,” she said.
This is the reason the government carries out physical infrastructure programs in order “to create the environment conducive to investments that will provide jobs for you when you get out of school.”
“This is the main reason that every administration builds more roads, bridges, ports, airports and other physical infrastructure, while constantly seeking to improve the educational system which provides the human infrastructure needed for development,” she said.
“Government does not create jobs by opening new positions. Our country can prosper and people’s living conditions are improved only if new jobs are created by the proper investment environment, major of which is adequate human and physical infrastructure,” Arroyo added.
Arroyo also cited the major infrastructure projects implemented during her nine years in office such as expressways and schools, as well as programs that provided access to tuition assistance.
Arroyo is one of the authors of House Bill 5633, which provides for free tertiary education in state universities and colleges as well as technical schools, and creates the Student Loan Board for tertiary-level students enrolled in private schools.
The bill has been consolidated with the Senate’s version and approved at the bicameral conference committee level.