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A Dialogue on The Philippine Economy and the Culture of Patronage
Justo Albert Auditorium, PLM Campus
2017 September 18

PLM President Lenny de Jesus and university officials, officers and members of the Alumni Association, faculty, alumni, staff, student leaders and the entire student body, guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Thank you for inviting me. It's always good feeling for me to visit this academic institution. And it's even a better feeling when surrounded by young people like you.

I have five grandchildren, members of the millennial generation like yourselves and I know your language is peppered with acronyms like YOLO (you only live once), TBH (to be honest), SMH (shaking my head), TBT (Throwback Thursday), FTW (for the win), etc. Let me add two more in your dictionary: DTR and GTD.

But before I tell you what they are, I would like to share with you a few thoughts on the subject of enterprise.

Now, what is an enterprise? It may mean two things. First, it is simply another word for a business. Second, and I think the most important: it is typically a meaningful project or undertaking, requiring much effort and boldness. It can be synonymous with initiative, drive, grit, innovation, even ambition.

The person who starts an enterprise or startup is usually called an entrepreneur, or founder. If he succeeds, after many years of hits and misses, he may be compared to the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerberg. They are considered visionaries and successful entrepreneurs who inspired many into action and start their own businesses.

In any society, any country, especially in the US and China, even small ones like Singapore and Taiwan, entrepreneurs are encouraged, while others are given seed capital to help them improved and commercialize their discovery.

In some schools, I know my alma mater and others, they have created startup departments. There is a small one in DLSU Taft called Animo Labs, and a new one at the College of St. Benilde manned by professors and students who have done research along the way.

Such schools and other private and public enterprises have adopted the culture of innovation, initiative, advanced research and commercialization to attain the benchmark of economic and social successes.

In 1999, as Chairman of Science and Technology in the Senate, the late Dr. and Senator Johnny Flavier and I took turns to help entities develop research and development thru granting requests by interested parties to promote Science and Technology, and enterprise. I am proud to say that our PLM Enterprise Center here was one of those we had helped to complete.

The PLM Alumni Association members then, among them Engineer David Fernando was at the forefront of that inspiring initiative to house enterprise and entrepreneurs. He was also the founder of Smart Communications with Orlando Vea. We acknowledge their group for their quiet and effective way to attain higher standards for our youth to help improve our society.

In short, my simple message to you this afternoon: DTR/GTD.

Do The Research and Get Things Done.

Mabuhay ang Bansang Filipinas. Mabuhay tayong lahat at maraming salamat po!