BICUTAN, TAGUIG CITY –The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) conducted the NAST Environmental Science Award Paper Presentation and Awarding Ceremony and NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists Paper Presentation last April 21, 2023 (Friday) at the Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, Quezon City.

Dr. Dranreb Earl O. Juanico, PhD (Physics) of the Technological Institute of the Philippines was adjudged the winner of the 2023 NAST Environmental Science Award. He presented his winning research entitled “Does mangrove restoration imply coastal protection? A prospective study?” He discussed the coastal protection potential of mangroves by examining the “bio-shielding” effect against storm surges driven by category-5 winds in two coastal sites—Tacloban, Leyte, and Pan de Azucar, Iloilo. The study may help settle policy-oriented debates on whether governments, especially in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, must invest massively in coastal mangrove restoration for long-term community benefits.

05072023 NESA

In photo: Awarding Ceremony of the NAST Environmental Science Award with (from left to right) Academician Jaime C. Montoya, Dr. Dranreb Earl O. Juanico, Academician Rhodora V. Azanza, Academician Guillermo Q. Tabios III, and Director Luningning E. Samarita-Domingo.

The presentation was followed by an open forum wherein members of the NESA board of judges, the audience, and members of the media were able to ask questions and clarifications about the research endeavor of Dr. Juanico and the promising undertakings of mangrove restoration in the Philippines.

During the awarding ceremony, Dr. Juanico received a certificate of recognition from Academician Jaime C. Montoya, NAST President, and Academician Rhodora V. Azanza, chair of the NESA board of judges. Dr. Juanico also received a cash prize of One Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (Php150,000.00) from NAST PHL. He is entitled to the DOST Secretary’s Grant for Environment from the Department of Science and Technology in the amount of PHP 2 Million for an approved proposal.

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In photo: 2023 NTSYS Finalists (from left to right) Dr. Neil Jerome A. Egarguin, Mr. Charlon A. Ligson, Dr. Ann Franchesca B. Laguna, Dr. Ivan Henderson V. Gue, Dr. Jayson G. Cosme, Mr. John Paul Matthew D. Guzman, and Mr. Michael T. Castro.

The program proceeded in the afternoon with the 2023 NAST Talent Search Paper Presentation of Finalists. Seven (7) finalists presented their entry paper with the sequence of presentation as follows:

  • Michael T. Castro, MS (Chemical Engineering) from the University of the Philippines Diliman – “Techno-economic and financial analyses of hybrid renewable energy system microgrids in 634 Philippine off-grid islands: Policy implications on public subsidies and private investments.”
  • Jayson G. Cosme, PhD (Physics) from the University of the Philippines Diliman “Observation of a continuous time crystal.”
  • Neil Jerome A. Egarguin, PhD (Mathematics) from the University of the Philippines Los Baños – “Active manipulation of Helmholtz scalar fields in an ocean of two homogeneous layers of constant depth.”
  • Ivan Henderson V. Gue, PhD (Mechanical Engineering) from De La Salle University – “Sector perception of circular economy driver interrelationships.”
  • John Paul Matthew D. Guzman, MS (Microbiology) from DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute – “Piper betle L. leaf extracts inhibit quorum sensing of shrimp pathogen Vibrio harveyi and protect Penaeus vannamei postlarvae against bacterial infection”
  • Ann Franchesca B. Laguna, PhD (Computer Science and Engineering) from De La Salle University – “Seed-and-Vote based In-Memory Accelerator for DNA Read Mapping”
  • Charlon A. Ligson, MS (Marine Science) from the University of the Philippines Diliman – “Survival and sexual maturity of sexually propagated Acropora verweyi corals 4 years after out plantation.”

Afterward, each presenter was awarded a certificate of recognition as a finalist of the 2023 NTSYS. The members of the NTSYS board of judges extended their congratulations to each finalist for making it this far in the competition having been selected from a pool of nominees.

The winner of the NTSYS will be declared during the NAST PHL’s Annual Scientific Meeting on July 13, 2023. Plaques and cash prizes will be awarded as well. The first prize winner will receive P100,000, the second prize winner will receive P50,000, the third prize winner will receive 30,000, and the Special Citations will receive P10,000. The first prize winner is entitled to a research grant worth P500,000 from the DOST for an approved research proposal.

The program was concluded by the closing remarks of Academician Jose Maria P. Balmaceda, Secretary of NAST PHL and member of the NTSYS board of judges.

For more details, you may visit the NAST PHL official Facebook page, @nastphl.