US envoy urges new grads: Don’t leave PH

US Ambassador Harry Thomas. AFP FILE PHOTO

US Ambassador Harry Thomas. AFP FILE PHOTO

BAGUIO CITY—Saying that the Philippines needs them to help make it “a new Asian tiger,” United States Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. on Friday urged Filipino youth to stay in the country, instead of pursuing their dream of working in the United States.

Speaking at the 67th commencement exercises of the University of the Cordilleras here, Thomas said the country “can be an Asian tiger, but with your help.”

“When you’re out making your millions…when you are out becoming a Manny Pangilinan or even a Sarah Geronimo, volunteer! Give back! Give thanks. Be Jose Rizal. Be Cory Aquino. You have to do this, your nation needs you,” he said.

No need to go to US

Addressing 800 graduates, Thomas said: “How many of you are going to the US? So would I. That was just a joke. You don’t need to go to the US. You need to stay here. If you go to the US, you need to be Jose Rizal. He went abroad, got an education, and came home and sacrificed and rebuilt for his nation. He is the ‘bayani (hero)’ because he did that.”

He added: “Now we very much welcome Filipinos in the US. We have 4.5 million Filipinos plus a few TNTs (‘Tago nang Tago’ or undocumented immigrants), and we are very happy to have them.”

Filipino teachers are finding lucrative jobs in the United States, he said, describing them as “reverse Thomasites,” a reference to the Americans who sailed to the Philippines onboard the ship, USAT Thomas, to serve as the country’s first public school teachers.

Country needs you

“But Baguio needs Filipinos, Manila needs Filipinos, your country needs you,” Thomas said.

He said the US Peace Corps is his country’s expression of volunteerism, from which the graduates could derive lessons, including the aspirations of murdered Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell.

Campbell became a topic because of a UC resolution handed to Thomas by UC Chair Geronimo Salvosa, which expressed “deep sadness” that the American was killed in Ifugao in April 2007 by an Ifugao woodcarver, who claimed to have mistaken her for a tourist with which he had issues.

The UC resolution also said the Philippines “appreciates the commitment of the people of America to render direct community services to people across the globe as represented by Peace Corps volunteers.”

Acknowledging the resolution, Thomas said: “You are going to the polls on Monday and in the US we say, ‘You get the government you deserve. We can never complain because we elected them.”  Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon


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  • Rodolfo Corneja

    the sugestions of amb,thomas to the new graduates is good ,but unattainable ,new graduates find it hard to have job with a decent pay , if lucky they can work in goverment offices if they have a right connection , no one on his right mind will seek employment in other countries away from his family , but , most of our new graduates are cannot stomach the ongoing coruption or mismanagement of our economy , my friend works as site engineer in a goverment project ,the funding is big ,and it schedule to finish in three months as plan,but in reality , the piecework is small , and they finish it in 15 days , but lol , cannot go arround for fear of being seen by contractors or politicians and might forfeit their agreed 3 months work pay , they keept away from cerculation the rest of 3 months doing nothing so as to avail of the agreed payment , if they stay working ,in the goverment their work ethics is low and they will be eaten by our rotten system , now they are happy applying the kind of working standard they learn from school in other countries ,

  • 33Sam

    Spoiler alert, teachers going to the U.S from the Philippines may put dollars in a Filipinos pockets but its still a social engineering plot by the U.S. government’s education system to dumb down the schools to make them 3rd world mind-mills. Reason former Congressman and 2012 U.S. Presidential candidate, Dr. Ron Paul is NOW pushing for home schooling as the public schools are turning out brain dead students, while many parents have already home schooled their children in the last 30 years. Have to read between the lines.

  • Jaime Hernandez

    i think it would be better if we invite more foreign companies to establish business here in the Philippines. in order to do that we should make the environment here more conducive for business (cheaper electricity, etc.) in that way our OFWs won’t need to go out of our country. tourism will also benefit.

  • 1Fz20

    He is right, America is in the decline morally and financially and there’s so much hidden prejudice in everything just to keep up. If you land a good job w/a good work environment then that is your treasure, doesn’t matter where in the world it would be, incl the Phils. Dont be dazzled by the glitter of america, its all hype and hollywood! They are nearing equalizer status. 2ndly”‘You get the government you deserve” – does not apply to a nation w/80% poverty/economic deprivation in the countryside. If you’re hungry/homeless you’ll sell your vote to anybody who feeds you, to survive.Folks would vote for the mayor/governor who is in power and owns everything in the area and who usually give out relief goods.

  • boybakal

    I agree with Ambassador Thomas.
    America cannot hold anymore the influx of legal and illegal immigrants.
    Not only that, immigrants are not contributing to the economy, they are draining the economy.
    They are more of a liability than assets.

    Stay put Filipinos, your country is Philippines, your President is Pnoy.
    And you are the Boss in your country according to Pnoy.

    PS…. and lastly, america is getting uglier by the day.

  • banana na

    baka ang ibig sabihin ni ambassadors na wag na kayong pumunta sa america kasi konti na lang ang vacant jobs at maraming din walang work sa kapwa nila…magiging competition ng americano ang phil. workers trying to find job in US…wala na bang ang sinasabi na AMERICAN DREAM…mas marami na kasi ang minority population sa US kaysa sa WHITE MAN….

  • sheina83

    Sana hindi natin i-asa sa gobyerno ang pagkakaroon ng trabaho.. sana tinuturo sa paaralan ang pagtatayo ng sariling negosyo para hindi na problema ang maghanap ng trabaho. Sana maalis sa mentality ng pinoy na maging empleyado, dapat isipin natin maging boss sa sarili nating kumpanya, sa sarili nating bansa.

  • jpastor

    Philippine dream… if you have the guts you can make it.
    Estrada makes it.
    Binay makes it.
    Enrile did it over and over again.
    Tiangco makes it.
    Nancy did it.
    So why can’t I and you!

    On the 2nd thought yoy have to ask yourself why should I work for polituku f_kn dynasties anyway.

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