Senator Cynthia A. Villar received the title of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) and served as the guest of honor and speaker at the 46th commencement exercises of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) on June 23, 2018 at the D.L. Umali Freedom Park in UPLB, Los Baños, Laguna.
Villar’s conferment of honorary degree was witnessed by: her husband, former Senator Manuel Villar, children Camille, Manuel Paolo, and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar; and, members of the UP Board of Regents, namely, Commission on Higher Education OIC J. Prospero E. de Vera, UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, UP Faculty Regent Patricia B. Arinto, UP Staff Regent Analiza S. Fulvodora, UP Alumni Regent Ramon M. Maronilla, UP Student Regent Ma. Shari Niña G. Oliquino, UP Regent Frederick Mikhail I. Farolan, UP Regent Angelo A. Jimenez, UP Regent Francis C. Laurel; and other UP System officials and UPLB officials.
Villar’s message for UPLB’s new graduates focused on the youth’s role in ensuring food security and improving agricultural productivity. According to her, Filipinos must enhance their skills and capabilities through education and utilize modern technology for sustainable food production, efficient distribution, and global competitiveness as well. In the Senate, she serves as chair of the Committees on Agrarian Reform, Agriculture and Food, and Environment and Natural Resources.
BS Agriculture (summa cum laude) graduate Paul Joshua C. Marquez spoke on behalf of UPLB’s 2,450 graduates, of whom 258 graduated with honors. He affirmed that he would pursue a career path primarily in the service of Filipino farmers. (Fred Dabu, UP MPRO)