DOST fetes outstanding S&T researchers, technologists, journalists

The Department of Science and Technology conferred various awards to 21 outstanding researchers, technologists, and journalists, including institutions and students, July 21 at the Philippine Trade Training Center, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.

The awarding rites culminated the five-day celebration on the National Science and Technology Week that began July 17 and participated in by DOST’s line agencies, regional offices, and partners.

Dr. Eusebio Y. Garcia Awards
Dr. Rita P. Laude and Mr. Marni E. Cuenco of the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of the Philippines Los Baños received this year’s Dr. Eusebio Y. Garcia Awards for Molecular Biology and Molecular Pathology. The award is in recognition of outstanding research on molecular biology and molecular pathology. Criteria include originality, potential application, scholarliness, and uniqueness.

Dr. Laude and Mr. Cuenco’s pioneering research resulted to gene discovery, isoform discovery, and establishment of an ontogenetic pattern of expression in coconut. These discoveries are important in establishing molecular-based coconut standard for the improvement of current coconut technologies and in standardization of virgin coconut oil production in the country, according to the National Research Council of the Philippines, sponsor agency of the Awards.

Gruppo Medica Awards
UP Manila graduates shone this year in the Gruppo Medica Awards which recognizes undergraduate students who diligently and successfully completed significant and innovative research work on herbal medicine with potential practical or commercial applications. According to sponsor agency Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, criteria for selection in the awards include relevance – particularly on the appropriate use of medicinal plants, practical application, creativity and originality, scientific quality, and number of persons involved in the research process.

Two groups bagged the second prize for this year’s awards. Jerome dela Cruz and Jennifer Pineda, BS Industrial Pharmacy and BS Pharmacy seniors respectively during selection time, got second place for the study “Healing property of Portulaca oleracea Linne (portulacaceae) gel on excised wound.” The other winning group is composed of Jeanne Constantino, April Guevarra, and Rosenda Monette Samonte, all BS Industrial Pharmacy graduates of UP Manila, for the research “Burn wound healing property of cream from Portulaca oleracea Linne (portulacaceae).”

Winning third place are Dan Adriel Q. Ebona, Christine Marie L. Garcia, and Benedict E. Radoc for the research “Anti-inflammatory property of the tablet from Hibiscus rosasinensis linne (family malvaceae)”. The research was undertaken by the then senior BS Industrial Pharmacy students at UP Manila.

There are no first prize winners this year. Prof. Jocelyn Bautista Palacpac served as adviser of all winning groups.

Dr. Elvira O. Tan Memorial Awards
Dr. Elvira O. Tan Memorial Awards for best published paper is in recognition to outstanding fisheries publication, particularly in the area of marine fisheries and aquaculture or inland fisheries. Sponsored by the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research Development, criteria for the Dr. Elvira O. Tan Memorial Awards include contribution to industry and science, technical quality, and sustainability.

The Awards has two categories, namely marine fisheries and aquaculture/inland fisheries. Bagging the best published paper in marine fisheries is the group of Dr. Wilfredo Licuanan of the Dela Salle University for the paper is entitled “A Decision Support Model for Determining Sizes of Marine Protected Areas: Biophysical Considerations”, which was published in The Philippine Agricultural Scientist, Vol. 89 No. 1 – March 2006. His co-authors include Dr. Porfirio Alino and Marie Antonette Menez of UP-Marine Science Institute, Dr. Wilfredo Campos of UP Visayas, and Dr. Gem Castillo of PEG.

Meanwhile, the 2006 Dr. Elvira O. Tan Memorial Awards for best published paper in aquaculture/inland fisheries went to Dr. Arnil C. Emata of the Aquaculture Department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. Dr. Emata’s winning paperis entitled “Reproductive Performance in Induced and Spontaneous Spawning of the Mangrove Red Snapper, Lutjanus argentimaculatus : A Potential Candidate Species for Sustainable Aquaculture” published in Aquaculture Research 2003, Vol. 34, pages 849-857.

Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Award
Bagging the grand Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Award for Aquatic Technology Enterprise is Paul Philip Cruz of the Cruz Aquaculture Corporation for his developed technologies that show big potential in making a significant impact to the economy and the society. Cruz developed the Kinetic Fish Feeder and Aquaranch Sea Cage, an all-weather sea cage that allows the growth of fish in the deeper seas. According to PCAMRD, the sea cage has higher carrying capacity, greater efficiency in feeding and harvesting. Aside from having low maintenance and depreciation costs, it is also more environment-friendly than other sea cages.

DOST Media Awards
Excellence in science reportage was also given distinction in print, radio, and cyber media in both professional and institutional categories.

In the professional category, winners include Melvin Calimag of Manila Bulletin Online for cyber, Julieta Cruz and Meliza Maluntag of DZEC’s “Una sa Lahat Pinoy!” for radio, and Maria Matilde Sabater of Manila Bulletin for print.

In the institutional category, the awards were clinched by Manila Bulletin Online for cyber, ABS-CBN’s DZMM for radio, and Manila Bulletin for print.

Given special citations were Marou Sarne, host of DWIZ’s “Womantalk”, and People’s Balita.

Future science champions
Gil Anthony E. Aquino of the Ateneo de Manila University bagged the championship in The Great Science Debate held during the NSTW, besting debaters from UP Diliman and Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Meanwhile, Kan Louise Nielsen P. Tejada of the Quezon City Science High School emerged as grand champion of the Pinoy SciTek Challenge, winning against quizzers from five other schools. His coach is Mr. Isal Kulong. (Framelia V. Anonas, S&T Media Service)
 

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