Wednesday, June 28, 2017

3 Pronged Approach by DICT

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) gave a three pronged approach for the improvement of Information and Communications Technology in the country.

DICT Secretary Salalima has approached congress to impose sanctions against subdivision homeowners’ associations that do not cooperate in the installation of cell sites in their subdivisions. Sec. Salalima stated that such resistance leads to the detriment of broadband services since cell sites are integral to a broadband network.

The lack of cellsites results in network congestion and slow broandband speed. The inability of telcos to put up cell sites in known subdivision hinders the operations of the broadband network. 

DICT drafted a measure to allow telcos to construct cell sites in private subdivisions. To this effect, the DICT called on congress, particularly Rep. Victor Yap, chairman of the house committee on information and communications technology.

“I implore Congressman Yap request his colleagues to pass a law or legislation stating that telecommunications is a basic human right and any board or association preventing telcos from entering the subdivision are, in fact, violating the rights of the residents of that subdivision to the basic human right to telecommunications,” Salalima said during the official launching of the DICT’s flagship programs in Manila on Friday.

The Philippines has only 16,300 cell sites lags poorly in numbers as compared to its neighbors like Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

Together with havering for support from the legislature, the DICT also launched its National Broadband Plan (NBP). With the NBP, the DICT aims to provide internet services to the most remote areas of the country.

The NBP will piggyback on the National Grid Corporation’s (NGC) fiber optic network. Theoretically, since the NGC provides electricity, then areas with electricity can have internet connectivity. This is critical in providing information and government services such as health education in remote areas.

The third is providing free WiFi services to the people in public areas such as government buildings, hospitals, clinics, schools and other government buildings. This will enable WiFi access to those who need them for health, education, applying for government services and processes.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Philippine Science High School’s Renewable Energy Partnership with Ayala Foundation.

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Present at the agreement signing were (from left) Joie Lopez, senior director for Programs at Ayala Foundation; Tess Bacungan, director, PSHS Foundation; Ruel Maranan, president, Ayala Foundation; Virginia Andres, director, PSHS Quezon City; Jose Teodoro Limcaoco, chief financial officer, Ayala Corporation; and Ma. Lourdes Dario, project manager and representative from PSHS Batch 1985.

Philippine Science High School (PSHS), the premier science high school in the country has initiated its own renewable energy effort with the installation of solar panels donated by the Renewable Energy Testing Center.

This was undertaken in cooperation with the Ayala Foundation, the social development arm of Ayala Corporation since June 2015. This is an affirmation of Ayala Corporation’s commitment to education and innovation.

Ayala Foundation  donated Php1.5 million for the transport and installation of the solar panels donated by the Renewable Energy Testing Center.

The solar panels was installed on the rooftop of the PSHS Advanced Science and Technology Building which is located at the PSHS Main Campus in Diliman, Quezon City.

This enabled PSHS to use renewable and clean energy for its operations, notwithstanding the reduced costs with regards to electric consumption in its main campus.

This also enabled PSHS to utilize the savings generated into the PSHS Research Fund that  benefited  promising and deserving students with regards to their research projects.
The ceremonial signing of the agreement was held at Ayala Tower One in Makati City.  Present during the signing were Ayala Foundation President Ruel T. Maranan, Ayala Chief Financial Officer Jose Teodoro Limcaoco, PSHS QC Campus Director Virginia Andres, PSHS Foundation Vice President Hector Guballa, and Maria Lourdes Dario from PSHS Batch 1985.

Ayala Foundation and PSHS aims to harness the potential of gifted students in the pursuit of national development through science and technology.

NICP, ECC Trains 240 Teachers For Cybersecurity

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

About two hundred forty teachers in strategic locations in the Philippines will undergo basic cybersecurity training and certifications this week to help in the development of cybers-ready Filipino workforce. 

The National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) and Wissen International Singapore jointly developed a program to bring the needed cybersecurity awareness and capability development training programs from EC-Council to various colleges and universities who are members of the NICP ICT councils across the Philippines.

EC-Council (ECC) is a master representative of International Council of E-Commerce Consultant which is a professional organization established in USA, with headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. hosting members and affiliates worldwide.

WISSEN is the authorized exclusive representative of EC-Council for Philippines and markets in ASEAN.

One key objective of the partnership is to provide cyber security skills training to students in the Philippines so as to prepare them better for the job market.

NICP President Stephanie Caragos also the chair of the Cagayan De Oro ICT Business Council said NICP and Wissen believes that every graduate should be cyber-ready and cyber-aware, and that every ICT graduate should have network security skills and knowledge. Eventually, the project aims to see that every cybersecurity graduate should equip themselves with industry oriented professional skills.

Initially, the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) shall act as the authorized training center (ATC) partner to facilitate and support in the delivery of ECC courses in the Philippines.

BNEFIT Executive Director Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said in the first phase of the project, selected teachers shall undergo the Certified Secure Computer User (CSCU) Train The Trainer (TTT) program in four areas.

These areas are Bacolod City (Visayas) on June 30 to July 1 hosted by BNEFIT, Cagayan De Oro City on July 3 and 4 hosted by CDO ICT Business Council, Legazpi City (Luzon) on July 6 and 7 hosted by Legazpi ICT Council-Albay ICT Association, and Metro Manila on July 10 and 11 hosted by Quezon City ICT Council.

The second phase develop colleges and universities to become academic partners of EC-Council CSCU as well as other higher value certifications.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Boosting the Startup Ecosystem in Negros Occidental

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, June 23, 2017
Negros Occidental Startup Community with Governor Maranan and Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue

The startup ecosystem in Negros Occidental recently got a boost from Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo G. Marañon Jr. himself. 

This comes at the heels of the “graduation” of Hybrain development Corporation from The Technology Business Incubation Center of Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation of ICT at the Negros First CyberCenter. 

The Technology Business Incubation Center (TBIC) at the Negros First CyberCentre in Bacolod City was established in 2015 as proposed by the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) to the Province of Negros Occidental.

BNEFIT also partnered with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region VI for the development of startups under the program “ICT Startups Equipment Support (ISES) to encourage the development of start-up companies and entrepreneurs by assisting in programs, projects and activities such as but not limited to start-up fora, ICT entrepreneurship trainings and development of technology incubation programs. Another partnership in the TBIC is the Business Resource Center of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which assigns BNEFIT as manager of a shared service facility (SSF).

Meeting with representatives of various startups together with Atty. Jocelle-Batapa-Sigue, the governor was impressed with the development and progress of the province’s technology startups.

During the discussions, Governor Marañon Jr. was able to grasp the importance of the IT-BPO industry for the province and its citizens. Thus, he was able to formulate the right questions needed to develop the industry sector further for his province. Particular attention was brought into how to further improve the incubation center for startups; the sills requirements for the startups and their operations and other forms of support needed.

The governor then decided to focus on the following:

1. To expand the incubation facilities
2. To create a venture capital program
3. To document success stories of startups
4. To institutionalize and regularize trainings of K To 12 ICt teachers
5. To create tech-SMEs facility for lease to startups and tech-SMEs

Startup Founder and CEOs (R-L) Ed Salinas of Convonaut, Hajee Birth Alferez Aquino of Audacity Studios, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Maranon, John Dave Duenas of Hybrain Development Corporation and Brent Andrew Chua of Aardvark Play

Other welcome developments include the addition of CONVONAUT to the Negros First Cyber Center as well as the “graduation” of the second startup Aardvark.

The first graduate was HYbrain. HYBrain Development Corporationstwas established only in September 2016. Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of HYBrain John Dave Dueñas said they have to exit early in the center so that they can keep up with the demands, as well as address the need for increasing manpower.

HYbrain offers various digital services like website application development, web design, android application development and design, desktop application development and software testing, targeting the local businesses.

TBIC offers its incubation services such as free office space and equipment. It also includes trainings and seminars conducted by experts in Information Technology.

HYbrain already created automated hospital information systems for some medical institutions in Negros Occidental and Western Visayas.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Marawi grad, UP summa cum laude in molecular bio, to deliver valedictory address at State U

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, June 20, 2017

An outstanding young scientist from Marawi – graduating summa cum laude, with a degree in molecular biology and biotechnology – will deliver the valedictory address at this weekend’s graduation rites at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, sources at the State University have confirmed to InterAksyon.

UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan announced the selection of Arman Ali Ghodsinia as the graduating class speaker at the University Council meeting on Monday, one source present at the gathering said. The honor accorded Ghodsinia was separately confirmed by a UP System official.

The UP Diliman information office later confirmed Ghodsinia will indeed deliver the valedictory address, but said they were not authorized to disclose his general weighted average. According to a source, Ghodsinia will graduate with a general weighted average of 1.173 in a system with a highest possible GWA of 1.00. More notably, his feat comes against the still smoldering backdrop of his hometown Marawi, the Islamic Philippine city which has grabbed headlines around the world the past month for the destruction and terror wrought by extremists that have aligned themselves with the ISIS terror network.

Ghodsinia completed his elementary schooling at the Ateneo de Manila, and his secondary schooling at the Philippine Science High School.

Last January 2017, Ghodsinia was declared first-prize winner of the 25th Federation of ASEAN and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists (FAOBMB) search for outstanding scientific work in that field. The conference where that search was launched was held Dec. 5-6 in Manila.

In a September 2016 Facebook post, his sister, Farah, said: “You might think that Arman’s the type of the everyday-grade-conscious student but believe me, he’s not. He is the first to remind me to look beyond the grades and to hold on to long-term goals. Arman is this really simple, humble and quiet guy, who just happens to be passionate about what he does.”

In the FB post, when she first broke the news about Arman being on track to graduate summa cum laude, Farah said: “As a Maranaw and member of an ethnic-religious minority, this feat – as an Iskolar ng Bayan – is a feat to be shared with all.”

Help Fund Filipino iGeo Olympian

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Filipino iGeo Olympin Uriel Escobido

Uriel Escobido is the lone Philippine entry to the 14th International Geography Olympiad this coming August 2 – 8, 2017. 

The International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) is a competition for geography students aged 16 – 19 years old. This is helled every 2 years and is now on its 14th staging. This will be held in Belgrade, Serbia.

The expertise and skills of each geography student will be showcased in iGeo and will reward those who excel in this field.

Uriel Escobido won first place in the concluded 7th Philippine Geography Olympiad last February, 2017. He will represent the Philippines for the 2nd time when the IGeo was held in Beijing, China in 2015. He is the First Filipino to represent the country twice in the iGeo.

Uriel Escobido needs our help in representing the country to the iGeo. The travel to Serbia and back to Manila will entail a considerable cost and Uriel is asking for our assistance in making this a national endeavor. 

Uriel said that even a Php1.00 donation would be greatly appreciated. 

For purposes of verification, please click on the iGeo website:

If you have any questions or wish to know more about his resume, you can contact Uriel Escobido at: +63 998-971-0353 or thru email at

Big cash donations amounting to ₱1000 or more please make your deposits at:
Bank Name: BDO (Banco De Oro)

Account Number: 004050201537


Account Type: Savings

TechBlade continues to support the endeavors of the Filipino in Science, Technology and Education.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Prime PH Geneticist on Genetic Research on Indigenous Communities

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, June 19, 2017

Dr. Maria Corazon A. De Ungria, the doyen of Philippine Genetics research recently presented the Challenges in the Conduct of Genetic Research in Philippine Indigenous Communities. 

The presentation echoed the conditions that such research involving indigenous people (IPs) in the context of its relations to the environment, social, economic and cultural inclusion of the IPs. In short, its direct benefit and effect to those concerned.

This translates to ecological ties, human encounters, autonomy and self-determination; he outlined three corresponding areas of ethical understanding.

In the conduct of research, considerations such as the connectedness of the IPs to their environment, their willingness to engage and the participation of the IPs during the conduct of the research are of prime importance.

Dr. De Ungria cites that the IPs must be made to feel the inclusivity in the benefits of the research and foremost to be direct beneficiaries in science and technology.

Dr De Ungria stated that “We scientists devote our lives to understanding how the world operates and to finding solutions to the problems of humanity. We spend so many hours towards accomplishing the tasks that we set for ourselves – this is our defined purpose. What many scientists have not done is to build an inclusive community in our social environs which allows others including non-scientists, IPs to collaborate on “big meaningful projects. Scientists need to share our knowledge and pour passion to find order where there is none, to find creative solutions to seemingly hopeless situations and to discover the common and shared humanity, across individual diversities manifested in different cultures, languages, spiritual beliefs, and social status.”

Further, Dr. De Ungria said “It is the need for natural scientists to value the social impact of our research.” She then cited Mark Zuckerberg to create a world where everybody has a purpose. Working with IPs is an example of inclusive development.

Dr. De Ungria  currently heads the DNA Analysis Laboratory of the Natural Sciences Research Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman, QC. This laboratory conducts research, training and actual casework on enhancing the country’s capacity to conduct DNA analysis for forensic applications. 

She acquired her Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology at the University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia

Friday, June 16, 2017

UPLB holds groundbreaking for Technology Hub and One-Stop Shop

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, June 16, 2017
Grounbreaking ceremony for the Technology Hub

As part of its objectives to create an enabling environment for creativity and innovation, the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) will finally have its very own Technology Hub and One-Stop Shop. This is a project funded by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), spearheaded by the UPLB Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension (OVCRE), and implemented by UPLB Foundation, Inc (UPLB FI).

The Hub will serve as a repository of UPLB products and technologies. Visitors, adapters, and potential investors will surely enjoy the convenient location of the one-stop shop. It is also envisioned to be a venue for collaboration and “meeting of minds,” which will give birth to new and emerging concepts, innovations, research projects, and technologies.

The groundbreaking ceremony was conducted 09 June 2017 at UPLB. Dr. Rex B. Demafelis, UPLB Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, together with Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar, DA-BAR Executive Director; Digna L. Sandoval, DA-BAR Institutional Development Division Head; and Dr. Casiano S. Abrigo Jr., UPLB-FI Executive Director, led the ceremonies.

Dr. Demafelis expressed gratitude to both DA-BAR and UPLB FI for helping make this dream a reality. He further said that it is indeed exciting to finally share what the university has to the nearby communities. On the other hand, Dr. Eleazar further affirmed DA-BAR’s support for quality programs and initiatives.

The construction of the Hub is expected to be finished before the end of the year. It will be located beside Baker Hall, along Mondonedo Avenue, UPLB.

By: Regina Mae Ongkiko

Free WiFi on EDSA

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, June 16, 2017

The 24 kilometer Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) is now a WiFi Zone. This was inaugurated last June 12, 2017 by no less than the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

The service is for free and initially covers the stretch of Cubao, Quezon City to Guadalupe, Makati.

This translates to access to information such as weather, education, government sites and services and even online jobs applications and availability information.

According to DICT Sec. Salalima, the broadband speed is up to 200 Mbps and any speed that is less than 2 digits is near improbable.

“People would be more connected as a result of better communication,” said presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella during the launch of the project.

“DICT has gained traction in the everyday lives of our people. It plays an important role in nation-building, forming part of the overarching goal of President Duterte in building a united Philippines where there is comfortable life for all,” Abella said

Also, this is in line with June as  National Information and Communications Technology Month, making this a validation of President Duterte’s promise during his first State of the Nation Address last July 2016. 

Initial testing made by members of the media during the launch confirmed of speeds of up to 120 Mbps and lows of 85 Mbps.

Although based upon interviews, the reception by the public was mixed citing intermittent coverage or lower broadband speeds.

 Sec. Salalima stressed that higher broadband speeds are guaranteed by the providers. Also, he stressed that downloading or streaming is not covered by the free WiFi service, more so pornographic sites are automatically blocked. 

Security for the connections is also assured by the DICT and participating Telcos, pointing out that the service cannot be used for streaming and that users' handles are masked thereby preventing would-be snoopers from attempting to hack into users' devices. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

27 Million Students Back to School Today

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, June 05, 2017
Rizal High School morning assembly. Largest High School in the Philippines

An estimated 27 million students will be trooping to school today for the start of the 2017 – 2018 Academic School Year. That is more than 25% of the 104 million population of the country.  There are 53,043 public schools—1.84 million in kinder; 13.15 million in elementary; 6.33 million in junior high school and 1.57 million in SHS. This represents a 6% increase for this year’s academic year.

This will translate to more demand for classrooms, school chairs and desks, textbooks, school supplies, more laboratory equipment and other ancilliaries for the students.

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones stated that the increase has been projected with the implementation of the K+12 program. This will also increase demand for Vouchers that will assist in the tuition of Senior High School students (Grades 11 – 12).

“We cannot say with 100-percent certainty that everything is there,” Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones stated the week before the opening of classes. The DepEd Secretary further stated that “We are generally ready but there will be certain schools, especially in far-flung areas that cannot catch up.” 

Also, the DepEd is coordinating with the Philippine National Police (PNP) with regards to securing schools and transport hubs that students are using. Police are assigned to each public schools numbering from 4 to 8 policemen depending on the size of the school.

Students have also started to fill bus terminals since last week as they come back from the provinces. 

The shortage of classrooms is being addressed with DepEd rolling out numbers in relation to this with targets of building an additional  107,920 classrooms for 49,311 classrooms for Kindergarten to Grade 10; 57,021 for senior high school (SHS) and 1,588 for technical-vocational schools.

According to the DepEd  51.59 percent had been completed as of end of May 2017, making available 55,680 classrooms.

Aside from classrooms there is also a need for instructional and learning materials such as chairs, desks, teachers’ tables and even computers.

Teachers are also needed with DepEd creating 40,104 teaching position items in its plantilla. Demand has surged because of the implementation of the K+12 program and science and mathematics teachers are very much needed in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

For Senior High School (SHS), DepEd needs  8,618 new teachers to fill up the 36,788 vacancies. This figure is on top of the first batch of 21,868 teachers it requires for the school year 2017-2018.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Win for PH Robotics Team in Europe!

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, June 01, 2017
PH Robotics Team

The Philippine team won 3rd place in the First Lego League Open European Championship (FLLOEC) held last May 25 to 28, 2017 in Aarhus, Denmark.

Coming from Dr. Yanga’s Colleges Inc. (DYCI Bocaue, Bulacan) and Benigno Aquino High School (DepEd Makati), the team got awarded third place for Place for Best Project Research Award for My Hub for Effective Remedy to Obesity (My HERO Project).

The Young Mentor/Coach Award was also won by Claire Receli Reñosa an alumni of DYCI. 

"Ito pong award na ito ay hindi magiging posible kung wala po ang tulong ng bawat isa pong miyembro ng aming team. Sa lahat ng tumulong mula sa aming coach, mentors and school administrators. Sa aming mga pamilya at kaibigan, Marami pong Salamat," DYCI Blue Ocean 10 team said.

The competition, First Lego League Open European Championship 2017, focuses on engaging children in science and technology through play and learning. The young participants, between 10 and 16 years old, come from around 50 nations and from 6 continents. They have each won at their national tournaments and represent their country in this international robotics Olympiad. 

Each team will choose and solve a real world problem and investigate the relationship between humans, animals and programmable interface animates. They will also build a program and robot using Lego Mindstorms technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game.

The Philippine team won in a field participated in by 1,200 other competitors from 50 countries. 

"Ito pong award na ito ay para po sa lahat nang mga kabataan na kasama ko pong lumaban and sa lahat po ng mga tumulong po sa amin. Mabuhay po ang Pilipinas," Reñosa who is just 20 years old said.

This was supported by the Department of Educatrion (DepEd) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) which aims to harness talents in robotics in public schools.

Posted by The Mailman 6/01/2017 3.15 PM

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