ARAKAN, COTABATO—NEDA XII Regional Director (RD) Teresita Socorro C. Ramos inspired 233 graduates from the CFCST College of Arts and Sciences, College of Agriculture, Agri-Business, Forestry, and Food Sciences, Antipas and Katipunan Extension in her commencement speech during its 43rd commencement and baccalaureate services last July 19, 2022. Through the use of the school acronym CFCST , RD Ramos inspired the graduating students of the College.

For C, she asked them to be the embodiment of the Core values of the institution which are Culture-sensitive, Adherent to laws, Relevant and responsive, Efficient and effective, and Spiritually-oriented individuals. She stressed that the country needs good leaders, not tyrants and oligarchs.

On F, she encouraged them to be futurists. The Asian Development Bank defines a futurist as a person who looks at long-term alternative futures and scenarios, bears the theory and methods of futures thinking while using the practical application of foresight. The aim of futures thinking and foresight is to describe change 20–50 years into the future. She encouraged graduates to be innovative and create the future that they want to see.

For C, she urged them to contribute to the development of the region and the country. She challenged them not to be satisfied with just earning money, although that is needed to satisfy their basic needs. Instead, she pressed them to be entrepreneurs. There are a lot of job mismatches after college because there are only a few employment opportunities. People complain to the government about this. And to this, she said, “…we encourage you to create the opportunity. Be business owners.”

Lastly, for S and T, Ramos asked them to engage in research and development (R&D) in the field of Science and Technology, the drivers of the development of the SOCCKSARGEN region and the country. Director Ramos noted that the Philippines still lags behind other countries in terms of budget for R&D. Hence, Regional Development Council XII passed Resolution No. 122, series of 2021, endorsing the Science for Change Program Bill. The government is doing its best to give R&D funds through proper channels, so she urged them to take advantage of the said opportunities.

CFCST, a state college founded in 1983, is the only college that has a custodial care program. It primarily takes in orphans and victims of armed conflict and shapes them into persons of dignity, with knowledge and skills to become productive citizens of the country. The College is currently headed by its president, Dr. Ali K. Dilangalen. (Michael BJ S. Abellana, NEDA XII-ORD)