Questions arose over the time that Sen. Manny Pacquiao spent in attaining his bachelor’s degree, given his supposedly packed schedule as a lawmaker, world boxing champion, endorser, actor and member of ruling party PDP-Laban.
Pacquiao, however, attained his degree in political science through an alternative education program that does not adhere to traditional schooling methods.
The boxer-politician graduated from the University of Makati on Wednesday with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Political Science-Local Government Administration.
The ceremony was attended by his wife Jinkee and his firstborn Jimuel, based on the pictures the lawmaker posted on his Facebook page.
Pacquiao also shared a lengthy post as he reached a milestone in his academic career.
“Let us engrave this in our hearts: It is never too late to dream bigger dreams. It is never too late to accomplish our dreams. LIVE YOUR PASSION, not just for yourself, but for your family and for our country,” he wrote.
“Let this victory outside the boxing ring serve as an inspiration for people who are struggling to fight, to rise above adversity, to conquer and to embrace life and all its difficulties,” the 40-year-old lawmaker continued.
Let us engrave this in our hearts: It is never too late to dream bigger dreams. It is never too late to accomplish our…
While Pacquiao was generally congratulated by Filipinos online, there were others who questioned the duration he spent getting his degree since reports of him going back to school just surfaced this year.
“Wait. If Manny Pacquiao just started studying at UMak (University of Makati) last September, how did he get his bachelor’s degree in a span of 3 months?” a Twitter user wrote.
A bachelor’s degree is usually obtained after three to four academic years of studying.
Last September, Pacquiao shared a picture of his school ID on Instagram with the caption: “Never stop learning because life never stops teaching.”
However, it was in February when he revealed to broadcast journalist Karen Davila that he was pursuing a college degree, although he didn’t disclose which school and when he started.
When Pacquiao’s graduation was reported on Wednesday, most news reports didn’t include that he obtained his degree through the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program or ETEEAP, an alternative education program by the Commission on Higher Education.
The lawmaker only shared the particular Facebook post about it last night while reports of his graduation surfaced in the afternoon.
Pacquiao earned his high school diploma through the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System where he was able to pass an accreditation and equivalency test.
He also enrolled in the business management program of Notre Dame of Dadiangas University in 2008.
ETEEAP is a comprehensive educational assessment program that recognizes, accredits and gives equivalencies to knowledge, skills, attitudes and values gained by individuals from relevant work.
CHED says that it is implemented through deputized higher educational institutions that award the appropriate college degree to its students.
Beneficiaries must be high school graduates who have worked at least five years in the industry related to the academic program they are obtaining an equivalency.
He must also show proof of proficiency, capability and thorough knowledge in the field in order to be qualified.
“Basically, it is a program where students who did not finish their education or who left school for whatever purpose can go back and earn their degree not in the traditional residential mode, but be given credits for their experience so they are able to go back and finish their degrees in selected universities,” CHED officer-in-charge Prospero De Vera III said in reports.
“They don’t have to take all the subjects that are required… some of the subjects can be credited through an equivalency system of the things that they have done in their lives,” he added.
This means that the more professional experience the student has, the sooner he could obtain his bachelor’s degree.
De Vera said that students can take their course online so that they could still pursue their jobs while studying.