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Pinol conferred PhD in rural development at University in Southern Mindanao.

By Ali Macabalang

KIDAPAWAN CITY - Agriculture Sec. Emmanuel "Manny" Pinol was conferred Saturday a doctorate degree in Rural Development by the University in Southern Mindanao (USM) at the USM campus in Kabacan, North Cotabato.

"I woke up at 2:30 a.m. today to be in the campus of my Alma Mater (USM) at 4 a.m. for the big event of my life," Pinol said in his Facebook post, referring to his conferment of the post-graduate degree.

Officials of the USM Graduate School conferred a doctoral degree on Pinol and 13 other PhD candidates in the fields of rural development, agricultural sciences, extension services, and education.

"I am the lone candidate for PhD in Rural Development, a degree I started working on 10 years ago," the former journalist-turned-politician said.

Pinol finished his doctorate with a dissertation on "Easy Access Credit and Its Impact on Agricultural Productivity and Rural Poverty," which he successfully defended in formal presentation last month.

"Finally, the dream is realized and I thank those who supported me in this quest for greater knowledge," he said.

He thanked especially the "poor Filipino farmers and fisherfolk whose struggles and hardships inspired me to think of ways to lift them out of poverty" in conjunction with the preparation of his dissertation.

Because of financial constraints in their family of 11 all male siblings, Pinol opted to stop studying in college and joined media in 1970s to help support his younger brothers' schooling.

Pinol started to work in media in Cotabato City as a local radio station reporter and regional information officer of the defunct National Grains Authority (now National Food Authority), before transferring to Metro Manila to serve as desk editor of the Philippine News Agency (PNA) and the Tempo.

It was at Tempo that he was able to gain national prominence with his sports column, and regular coverages, as well as broadcasting coverage of boxing matches, including the amateur and initial professional fights of now boxing legend Senator Manny Pacquiao.

His father Bernardo Sr., a teacher who became a politician, was then an outgoing provincial board member of North Cotabato, and was ready to seek the mayoral post of their hometown M'lang in 1995.

However, at the height of the campaign, Bernardo Sr. fell sick, prompting Manny to take his place as substitute candidate.

Manny won, and this opened the door in his foray into politics. He served as mayor for one term, then ran for governor where he served for three terms.

During his three gubernatorial terms, Pinol decided to resume his education at the USM, finishing first his baccalaureate degree in Development Communication, a master's degree, and his most recent accolade - a PhD in Rural Development.


Graduate Manny Pinol in poses after his conferment with doctorate degree in rural development Saturday, June 8, 2019, at the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in North Cotabato. (VIA ALI MACABALANG / MANILA BULLETIN)

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Title Annotation:Mindanao
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jun 8, 2019
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