BSU grads told: “Be non-conformist but provide alternatives”

MALAYBALAY CITY  (Bukidnon News/02 April) Amidst the mediocrity around, be non-conformist take the road of change but offer alternatives, Higher Education Commissioner Alex Brillantes told part of more than a thousand graduates of Bukidnon State University in one of two graduation exercises Monday at the BSU Gymnasium.

Brillantes, who spoke in the morning graduation rites for graduates of the colleges of law, nursing, graduate school, and the business, accountancy, hospitality, and public governance, said the graduates must be different and must make a difference.

“Let’s be different from the mainstream, we don’t have to conform,” he added.

But he said they don’t have to conform but they must work out alternatives in their journey for reforms in society.

Brillantes cited, among others Senator Nene Pimentel and the late Interior and Local Government Sec. Jesse Robredo, as examples of local government leaders who became non-conformists and offered the alternatives.

He stressed that change must also be systemic and should involve changes in laws to make it effective. He cited the need for paradigm as well to go with the changes in laws. He cited inspirational author Stephen Cover, author of the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” in the need for a change in paradigm even with the same constraints and circumstances.

During the 2nd National Governance Forum from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 in BSU, Brillantes told members of the Philippine Councilors’ League that reform of structure and process of governance in the Philippines is not enough. He urged the officials to bring good leadership into it.

He cited that there must be an enabling mechanism to make citizens and officials all as “duty bearers” alike.

“Power is only temporal. Power lies not in wanting power, do not handle power, share it,” he said, adding “with higher responsibility comes higher accountability.”  He echoed the same message in the graduation rites.

Brilllantes, who is a professor at the National College of Public Administration and Governance at the University of the Philippines and president of the Philippine Society for Public Administration, stressed that apart from being non-conformists and as reformists offering alternatives, the graduates must strive to have values.

“Be honest even if others are not, even if others do not, even if others will not,” he said, adding, “values is key” for the graduates to succeed.

Addressing the graduates as future government workers, officials and other professionals, Brillantes said leadership and political will are important in change.

“The leader must show how the alternative will work,” he added.

He said it is also important to engage citizens so as not to leave governance to government alone.

BSU’s 80th commencement exercises focused on “ASEAN 2015: The Challenge for Higher Education.”

In the afternoon graduation rites for graduates from the colleges of teacher education, arts and sciences, and community education and information technology, Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo urged the graduates to level up for the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integration in 2015 looking at it as widening opportunities for the graduates.

He challenged the graduates to “be proud of their school”, to be “proud graduates of the Philippines”, and “make their school be proud of them”.

BSU has traditionally opted for officials from CHED for commencement speakers.

Brillantes is a CHED commissioner while Romulo chairs the House committee on higher and technical education. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News.Net)