BICUTAN, TAGUIG CITY – The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) held its first ever virtual Awarding Ceremony last July 10, 2020 as the culminating activity of the 42nd NAST Annual Scientific Meeting.

The Awarding Ceremony introduced the new members of the Academy, the Outstanding Young Scientists, and the researchers who won this year’s set of awards. The full list of 2020 NAST Awardees is as follows:


Five new Academicians were conferred during the virtual awarding ceremony: ARNEL N. DEL BARRIO, Ph.D. (Ruminant Nutrition), WINDELL L. RIVERA, Ph.D. (Medical Sciences), CHARLOTTE M. CHIONG, Ph.D. (Medical Sciences), MARIBEL G. NONATO, Ph.D. (Chemistry), and CHRISTOPHER P. MONTEROLA, Ph.D. (Physics/Data Science). The membership to the Academy is given to resident Filipino scientists who have made exemplary contributions to science and technology in the Philippines.

In addition, four new Corresponding Members were also conferred: FRANCIS L. DE LOS REYES III, Ph.D. (Environmental Bioengineering); GONZALO C. SERAFICA, Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering); RAMON B. GUSTILO, M.D. (Orthopedics); and ANNABELLE P. VILLALOBOS, Ph.D. (Chemistry). The Corresponding Member award is conferred on non-resident Filipino scientists who have made exemplary contributions to the advancement of science and technology and must have continuing connections and contributions to Philippine science.


The Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) Awards are given to young Filipino scientists below the age of 40 years, who have made significant contributions to science and technology. Each awardee is given a cash prize of PhP 150,000.00 and a NAST trophy.

Each awardee is also entitled to a research grant of PhP 1,000,000.00 from DOST for an approved research proposal. This year’s OYS awardeed are: REMIL L. GALAY, Ph.D. Veterinary Science (Pathological and Preventive Veterinary Science) of University of the Philippines Los Baños; ADRIAN P. YBANEZ, Ph.D. Veterinary Sciences (Animal Health) of Cebu Technological University; MELBOURNE R. TALACTALAC, Ph.D. Veterinary Science (Preventive Veterinary Medical Sciences) of Cavite State University; RODNEY H. PEREZ, Ph.D. Microbial Technology of National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology; ARGEL A. BANDALA, Ph.D. Electronics and Communications Engineering of De La Salle University (DLSU); EREES QUEEN B. MACABEBE, Ph.D. Physics (Energy Engineering) of Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU); JAIME ALFONSO M. AHERRERA, M.D. Cardiology of UP – Philippine General Hospital; FRANCIS NORMAN C. PARAAN, Ph.D. Physics of UP Diliman; MARLON T. CONATO, Ph.D. Chemistry of UP Diliman; BETCHAIDA D. PAYOT, Ph.D. Geology of UP Diliman; ARIES A. ARUGAY, Ph.D. Political Science of UP Diliman; and ERIKA FILLE T. LEGARDA, Ph.D. Physics (Data Science) of Asian Institute of Management.


The 2019 awardee for this category, JOEY D. OCON, Ph.D. (Environmental Science and Engineering) of UP Diliman, was presented during the virtual awarding ceremony. Dr. Ocon is recognized for his significant contributions in the field of electrochemistry and catalysis. He received US $2,000 and a plaque from NAST.


The NTSYS is a project of NAST to encourage young people to pursue a career in science. The winners of NTSYS were:

First Prize: LORICO D. LAPITAN, JR., University of Santo Tomas (UST) - “Magnetic nanoparticle-poly-enzyme nanobed sandwich assay for direct and ultrasensitive DNA detection and discrimination”

Second Prize: DARLON V. LANTICAN, UP Los Baños - “De novo Genome Sequence Assembly of Draft Coconut (Cocos nucifera L. Catigan Green Dwarf) Provides Insights into Genomic Variation Between Coconut Types and Related Palm Species”

Third Prize: WILFRED JOHN E. SANTIAÑEZ, UP Diliman - “Untangling nets: elucidating the diversity and phylogeny of the clathrate brown algal genus Hydroclathrus, with the description of a new genus Tronoella (Scytosiphonaceae, Phaeophyceae)”

Special Citations:

ZOMESH ARTUS N. MAINI, ADMU – "Lead (II) tolerance and uptake capacities of fungi isolated from a polluted tributary in the Philippines" and LYN MARIE D.J. CORPUZ, UST– “Rechargeable batteries utilizing 1D vanadium-based electrode: Past, present, future”.The winner received plaques of recognition and a cash prize of P45,000 for the First Prize, P30,000 for the 2nd Prize, and P20,000 for the 3rd Prize. The First Prize Winner will also be receiving a research grant worth P500,000 for an approved proposal. The special citations received P10,000 cash prize.


NESA is intended to recognize outstanding scientific and technological research work that contributes to environmental protection and conservation. The winner of the award received a plaque, Php 150,000 cash incentive, and Php 2 Million research grant, while the special citations received a plaque and Php 10,000 cash incentive. The winners of NESA are:

Winner: EMILYN Q. ESPIRITU, Ph.D., ADMU- “Assessment of quantity and quality of microplastics in the sediments, waters, oysters, and selected fish species in key site along the Bombong Estuary and coastal waters of Ticalan in San Juan, Batangas”

Special Citations: IAN NAVARRETE, Ph.D., Southern Leyte State University, Hinunangan Campus – “The role of reactive iron in long-term carbon sequestration in mangrove sediments: Implications on “blue carbon” estimates in Philippine mangroves”; and ANTHONY S.F. CHIU, Ph.D., DLSU- “Resource efficiency of the Philippine economy: A material flow accounting perspective (1955-2016)”.


The OBM Awards are given annually for books and/or monographs published by Filipino publishers based in the Philippines within five years preceding the award with majority of the authors of publication being Filipinos. Each of the awardees received a cash prize of PhP25,000.00 and a plaque of recognition. This year’s OBM recipients are:

1. “Powering the Philippine Economy: Electricity Economics and Policy” by Majah-Leah Ravago, James Roumasset, Rolando Danao published by the University of the Philippines Press, 2018.

2. ”Science-Based Management and Upland Community Development in the Philippines: The Case of Mount Makiling Forest Reserve” by Portia G. Lapitan, Nicasio M. Balahadia, Juancho B. Balatibat, Nathaniel C. Bantayan, Corazon A. Calimag, Manuel L. Castillo, Priscilla C. Dolom, Pamela Joyce M. Eleazar, Agnes M. Mora, Nelson M. Pampolina, Eleno O. Peralta, Juan M. Pulhin, and Teodoro R. Villanueva published by The University of the Philippines Press, 2019.

3. “The Science and Art of Palayaman Plus” by Rizal G. Corales, Aurora M. Corales, Jaime Manalo IV, and Woon Goo Ha published by Philippine Rice Research Institute, 2019.

4. “Financial Viability of Natural Food Colorants and Flavors in the Philippines” by Salvador P. Catelo, Ceptryl S. Mina, and Teresita J. Ramirez published by University of the Philippines Los Baños- College of Economics and Management (UPLB-CEM), Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), and Department of Agriculture-Philippine Agriculture and Fisheries Biotechnology Program (DA Biotech Program), 2019.


The Outstanding Scientific Paper (OSP) Awards given annually for papers published in Thompson Reuters or SCOPUS listed journals in the Philippines within five years preceding the award. The winners of this year’s OSP Awards are:

1) “Genome-guided molecular characterization of oil genes in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.).” by Anand Noel C. Manohar, Darlon V. Lantican, Melvin P. Dancel, Don Emanuel M. Cardona, Alissa Carol M. Ibarra, Cynthia R. Gulay, Alma O. Canama, Roanne R. Gardoce, and Hayde F. Galvez, published in Philippine Journal of Science, 148(S1): 183-191. 2019.

2) “DNA fingerprinting and genetic diversity analysis of Philippine saba and other cultivars of Musa balbisiana Colla using Simple sequence repeat markers” by Arnelyn D. Soloiras-Laraño, Roberta N. Garcia, Carlo Miguel C. Sandoval, Antonio G. Lalusin, Lavernee S. Gueco, Visitacion C. Huelgas, and Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza, published in Philippine Journal of Crop Science, 43(2): 1-11. 2018.

3) “Filipino DNA variation at 36 Y-chromosomal short tandem repeat (STR) marker units” by Jazelyn M. Salvador, Jae Joseph Russell B. Rodriguez, Lindsay Clare D.L. Carandang, Altair B. Agmata, Maria Lourdes D. Honrado, Frederick C. Delfin, and Maria Corazon A. De Ungria, published in Philippine Journal of Science, 148(S1): 43-52. 2019

4) “Post-disturbance stocks and rates of sequestration: Implications on “blue carbon” estimates in Philippine mangroves” by Severino G. Salmo III, and Eunice Lois D. Gianan, published in Philippine Science Letters, 12(2): 122-132. 2019.

5) “Hydrothermal synthesis of hierarchical hematite (α-Fe2O3) nanostructures for photocatalytic degradation of methyl orange” by Nick Joaquin Rapadas, and Mary Donnabelle L. Balela, published in Philippine Journal of Science, 146(4): 395-402. 2017.

6) “Detection of extended-spectrum β-Lactamace-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolated from Four Provincial Hospitals in Luzon and Genotyping of β-Lactamase (blaCTX-M, blaTEM, blaSHV, and blaOXA-1) Genes” by Joel C. Cornista, Anna Margarita D. Cuña, Helen Juvy A. Sanchez, and Marilen P. Balolong, published in Philippine Journal of Science, 148 (2): 277-287. 2019.

7) “Development and evaluation of a culturally Sensitive food frequency questionnaire for the assessment of prebiotic and probiotic Intake of urban-living, low-to-medium-income women” by Cecile Leah T. Bayaga, Marietoni B. Pico, Demetria C. Bongga, Erniel B. Barrios, and Alonzo A. Gabriel, published in Philippine Journal of Science. 148 (3): 551-561. 2019.

8) “Chemical reaction networks: Filipino contributions to their theory and Its applications” by Carlene P.C. Pilar-Arceo, Editha C. Jose, Angelyn R. Lao, and Eduardo R. Mendoza, published in Philippine Journal of Science, 148 (3): 551-561. 2019.

9) “Comparative flood-risk assessment of different freight transport development programs” by Krister Ian Daniel Roquel, Alexis Fillone, and Krista Danielle Yu, published in DLSU Business and Economics Review, 29(1): 146-164. 2019.Each awardee received a cash prize of PhP15,000.00 and a plaque of recognition.


Lastly, the seven (7) winners of the Best Scientific Poster selected from different divisions were:

1. “Enhancing productivity and harvest quality of a smallholding coconut farm through integration of irrigation and fertilizer” by Consorcia Reaño, Christopher dela Cruz, Speedy Crisostomo, Junnel Metrillo (Institute of Crop Science, College of Agriculture and Food Science, UPLB)

2. “Detection and PCR-identification of Streptococcus suis from a selected swine farm in Laguna, Philippines” by Susan Sedano (National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) – UPLB)

3. “Tandem mass spectrometry-based glycomic technologies enable glycome profiling of serum samples from Filipino non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases” by Luster May N. Serrano, Maurice Y. Wong, Carlito B. Lebrilla, Joeriggo M. Reyes, Jomar F. Rabajante, Francisco M. Heralde III, Patrick G. Moreno, Michelle M. Cabanatan, Gladys Cherisse J. Completo, Isagani D. Padolina, Ruel C. Nacario (Institute of Chemistry, UPLB)

4. “A novel modeling framework for the proper implementation of biochar-based carbon management networks” by Beatriz A. Belmonte (UST)

5. “Isolation and affinity purification of immunoglobulin Y against synthetic peptide analog of in silico-predicted unique epitope of Zika Virus NS1 antigen” by Leonardo A. Guevarra Jr., Austin James Z. Sta. Maria, Nikki Cyrill C. Capistrano, Laarni Grace M. Corales and Leslie Michelle M. Dalmacio (Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Santo Tomas and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, UP Manila)

6. “Novel substrate-based probes aid in unraveling M. tuberculosis Galactosyltransferase 1” by Jan Michael A. Salgado, Mikel Jason DG. Allas, Rowin Christian B. Angkico, Jaevee William T. Espejo, Ruixiang Blake Zheng, Todd L. Lowary, Gladys Cherisse J. Completo (Institute of Chemistry, UPLB, Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, CA, and Chemistry Department, DLSU)

7) “Organic agriculture adoption amidst sustainable development challenges: A multidimensional perspective” by Edna Luisa A. Matienzo, Myrna A. Tenorio, Marianne R. De Luna (Agricultural Systems Institute, College of Agriculture and Food Science, UPLB)

This year’s awarding ceremony went virtual to comply to the guidelines provided by the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The awarding was also broadcast live at the NAST PHL Facebook Page.

NAST PHL, through its Recognition Function, is mandated by law to recognize outstanding achievements in science and technology. The Academy is the nation’s symbol of commitment to science and its contributions to society come from the cumulative achievements of its members over a lifetime under less than encouraging circumstances. (Dhan Michael L. dela Peña/NAST PHL)