Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday appealed to local government units (LGUs) to provide full support for the education of the youth so the country can raise a generation of both high-earning and happy Filipinos.
Cayetano stressed that being happy with one’s career choice is as important as the amount of money one is earning “especially in this time of great psychological and financial distress.”
The veteran lawmaker, who is gunning for a Senate comeback on a faith-based and values-oriented agenda, advised students to “find God’s purpose” for their lives because it is the “sure way to leading a happy life.”
“Don’t ever think that material wealth is the measure of success. I do believe when you find God’s purpose for you, you will find a job that will give you both enough income to provide for your family and also lasting happiness,” he said.
However, he said, low socioeconomic status pushes many Filipino students to choose high-paying career paths over the ones that they actually want to take.
“When a student comes from a financially secure family, it is easier for him or her to take a course that he or she truly wants,” he said.
“And the cycle of poverty stops when a person receives quality education,” he continued.
The former Speaker said it is the LGUs’ role to make sure every child gets to study by lifting the financial burden from parents and rewarding students who perform well in school.
He cited the education system in his home city of Taguig where students from preschool to college enjoy free tuition, uniform, school supplies, and school programs.
All graduate and post-graduate students in Taguig also receive scholarships and financial incentives for good performance.
In an address to students of the Taguig City University (TCU) early this week, Cayetano said the school and city government officials will do their job to “give you the best, to prevent evil, and to do good.”
“But you have to do your job, too: be the best student that you can be,” he added.
He also reminded them to strike a balance between academics and socialization.
“Kung aral ka nang aral wala ka namang barkada, wala kang people skill. Pwedeng CEO ‘yan sa pinakamalaking kumpanya pero ang sama naman ng ugali, hindi pa rin successful ‘yan,” he said.
Cayetano was the principal author of GMRC (Good Manners and Right Conduct) and Values Education Act, passed in July 2019, which incorporated Good Manners and Right Conduct as well as Values Education subjects in the K-to-12 basic education curriculum.
True to his faith-based and values-oriented leadership, the former Speaker is also a vocal opponent of online gambling and easy access of teenagers to e-cigarettes, which he said are detrimental to the mental and physical health of the Filipino youth and “destroy the society’s moral fiber.”