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Monday, 7 August 2023

Budget chief inspires graduates of BatSu

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman  told over 700 graduates of Batangas State University (BatSu) — the country’s National Engineering University by virtue of Republic Act 11694 — to keep cultivating a critical mind, to stay curious, and always willing to learn as they start navigating a world beyond their school’s confines.

In her keynote message during the 55th Commencement Ceremony of BatSu, held on Friday, 4 August 2023, Sec. Pangandaman challenged the university's 2023 graduating class from the Colleges of Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Graduate School, and the College of Agriculture and Forestry from Lobo Campus to live up to the essential qualities of their chosen fields of specialization.

“What makes engineers a cut above the rest? It’s their critical way of understanding things. They teach us to wonder why something is the way it is, and how we can make it better. Engineers remind us that there is always something more to learn, to try, and to discover,” the secretary said.

Thus, she emphasized, "But never forget that as you reach for your goals and aspirations in life, never doubt the power of your ideas. Remember that you are capable to change your life and the world we live in."

The budget secretary assured everyone in the audience that the education sector will receive the highest budget in the proposed 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., with an allocation of P924.7 billion. This includes P105.6 billion for 116 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) nationwide.

In her speech, Pangandaman made special mention of class valedictorian Jean Camus de Castro from the College of Civil Engineering, and salutatorian Ram Christian M. De Castro from the College of Chemical Engineering.

“Mas Lalo akong namangha noong nalaman ko na ang inspirasyon ni Jean Camus de Castro sa pag-aaral ng Transportation Engineering ay para makatulong sa mga batang estudyante na tumatawid ng ilog at naglalakad ng ilang oras makarating lang sa kani-kanilang paaralan. Gusto niyang makatulong bigyan ng access ang mga batang ito sa edukasyon sa pamamagitan ng pagtatayo ng mga imprastraktura,” said Pangandaman.

The DBM chief likewise took note of Ram Christian de Castro’s future profession.

“Their work is highly important as the job of a Process Engineer includes the conduct of research to develop new and improved processes for manufacturing. They are also responsible for establishing procedures to ensure the safety of individuals working with dangerous chemicals,” said Pangandaman.

She ended her talk with a call for the new graduates to join the honorable task of nation building.

“With your potential and invaluable skills as engineers, innovators, and professionals, you can create solutions to the country’s pressing needs in energy, infrastructure, environment, information and communications, construction, manufacturing, transportation, and other domains of everyday life,” said Pangandaman.

For his part, BatSu President Dr. Tirso Ronquillo acknowledged the government’s fulfillment of the provision of free college education, including its extra privileges.

“Alam ng mga magulang na libre po ang edukasyon sa Batangas State University. Meron pa tayong tinatawag na tertiary education subsidy. Extra allowance po ’yan dun sa mga nasa listahan. It’s P40,000 per year,” Dr. Ronquillo said.

He further emphasized that the secretary was instrumental in the inclusion of P300 million in the FY 2024 NEP for the school to build its own technology park located inside the BatSu engineering campus.

"The support of the Department of Budget and Management is critical to the completion of this technology park so that we can invite more locators and contribute to the economic development of the region and of the country in general. That P300 million will serve as the completion phase of our technology hub building, now undergoing phase one.  On that, we will be forever thankful, Sec. Amenah, for your kind provision of additional support to Batangas State University," the BatSu president underscored. (DBM/PIA-Caraga)