FDr. Atty. Dr. Hernando B. Perez, HonFRI, DFRIEdr


President, University of Batangas, Republic of the Philippines
Honorary Fellow, Royal Institution, Singapore

Acceptance Speech & Special Message as Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institution, Singapore
14th Global Congress & Conferment Ceremony
The Empire Hotel & Country Club, Brunei Darussalam
27 February 2019

FDr. Dr. Athena Georgene, President, Royal Institution, Singapore, FDr. Prof. Dr. Samuel M. Salvador, Chancellor, Royal Institution, Philippines and Singapore; FDr. Dr. Helen S. Molano, President Royal Institution, Philippines, FDr. Legislative Council Member, Ar. Siti Rozaimeriyanty DSLJ Haji Abd Rahman, FDr. Pg. Hishamuddin Alli Pengiran Jaya Indera Pengiran Haji Mokhtar Puteh, Founder, Managing Director of Syarikat Pakar Tenaga Bersatu, FDr. Dr. Ethel Agnes P. Valenzuela, Director Designate of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Secretariat who is bringing honor to the Philippines and to Batangas Province,  FDr. Dr. Gaspar S. Gayona, Deputy Director General for Communities and Local Government Unit Services of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), FDr. Prof. CPA. Dr. Gloria T. Baysa, Chairperson for Continuing Professional Development Council of Accountancy and a Member of the Board of Accountancy of the Professional Regulation Commission, Republic of the Philippines, FDr. Prof. Ar. Dr. Ang Thian Soo, Chairman Emeritus of the Royal Institution, Singapore, FDr. Ar. Edilberto F. Florentino, who is celebrating his 90th birthday tomorrow, Honorable Speakers, Awardees, Ladies and Gentlemen, Assalamualaikum.

As I was listening to the introduction by FDr. Prof. Dr. Samuel M. Salvador, it is as if my whole life flashed before me. I am honored by the introduction, but I am sure, all of you are wondering, will my speech be as long as the introduction? I can assure you my speech will not be that long. I never realised that I accomplished a lot, until he reminded me through the introduction.

For many years, my country, the Philippines sent me to various fora to speak for and on its behalf. It sent me to the United Nations twice, first, to speak about the possibility of debt swapped with the environment protection, and second, about the dispensation of justice in my country. From various places in Europe, Asia, Canada, the United States and South America up to Chile, I was made to speak about the bloodless revolution in my country which we call the EDSA Revolution, the economic prospects and quest for sustainable development. But never did I have the opportunity to speak in a foreign country for and on my own behalf until today. Neither was I ever given any recognition and award by a lofty International Institution until this memorable occasion. For that I am eternally grateful to the Royal Institution, Singapore and its sister organization, Royal Institution, Philippines. Thank you very much.

The thoughts of H. Jackson Brown, Jr. guided me. He stressed, “Don’t work for recognition but do work worthy of recognition.” I precisely did not work for this recognition, but indeed, I did work worthy of recognition. This conferment is the culmination of my work for many decades as public servant and educator.

All of us seek peace, harmony, progress and sustainable development in our respective countries. In the words of Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the United Nations, “Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship, and strengthen governance.” We must realize that, as said by Nobel Prize awardee, Prof. Dan Shechtman, “Sustainable development requires human ingenuity. People are the most important resource.” As educators, we are the indispensable keys to harness and provide the holistic improvement of that most essential resource in sustainable development of our country, our region, our world: the people, the human being.

We should take it upon ourselves to improve the ability and knowledge of the youth and make them useful and responsible citizens through education. By doing that we could make all nations successful and thus attain lasting peace and prosperity. In the words of his Excellency, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of our host country, Brunei Darussalam, “Future peace, prosperity and confidence depend not just on ourselves but on the success of all nations. Hence, we are all partners, no matter what our backgrounds, cultures, faiths and histories.”

Let us be together and be partners in this quest for sustainable development through education, peace and prosperity.

Thank you very much, and again, thank you to the Royal Institution, Singapore.

Become a Member of the World's Largest Institution with 300 Professional Royal Institutes