Thursday, June 28, 2018

Balik Scientist Law Signed

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, June 28, 2018
DOST Secretary Dela Pena with principal authors of the Balik Scientist Law

Republic Act No. 11035, also known as an “Act Institutionalizing the Balik Scientist Program,” or Balik Scientist Law has been signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last June 15, 2018. This is the culmination of the efforts from the academe, government agencies and legislature in order to boost the number of scientists in the country.

Balik Scientists will have compensations that are tax-free and duty exemptions on importing equipment and materials. Also, travel expenses are covered and also a relocation benefits package.

Aside from direct benefits to the scientist, family assistance such as securing work for the spouse ad support for the children I preferred schools are offered. There is also monthly housing allowance and funding for the development of the facility or laboratory that the scientist may require.

“This law is a big help in encouraging Filipino scientists to return to the country and contribute to improving the nation and people’s lives. This law addresses the problem on the low number of scientists in the country so we can fare better with our neighboring countries in Asia who have more people working in research and development,” Senator Bam Aquino said. Senator Aquino was the principal sponsor of the bill in the Senate.

The law aims to address the dearth of Filipino scientists in the country. Space Technology, Bio-medicine, energy, artificial intelligence, electronics, health, biotechnology, agriculture, nanotechnology, information and communications technology and cybersecurity are among the priority fields for the Balik Scientists.

PH MSME’s to be boosted by DOST and DTI

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, June 28, 2018
DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña (middle) and DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez (second from the right) led the recently concluded “Innovation Partners: DTI and DOST” media briefing. On the said occasion, the two agencies formally launched their partnership to reinforce the capabilities of MSMEs, particularly in the provinces. Also in photo are DTI Assistant Secretary (Regional Operations Group) Demphna Du-Naga (left), DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya (second from left), and DOST Undersecretary Brenda Nazareth-Manzano (right). 

(Photo by Gerardo G. Palad, DOST-STII)

Acknowledging that the MSMEs for micro, small, and medium enterprises will be the engine for economic growth in the country, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have committed to work together by sharing their materials, knowledge, and facilities.

This also augurs well for Filipino Startups that can be also be classified as MSMEs. The two agencies agreed to cooperate closely with the “Innovation Partners: DTI and DOST.” The DOST and DTI will be boosting their efforts along dissemination of information and knowledge on science, technology, and innovation in the country.

“This kind of cooperation among the two agencies (DOST and DTI) is quite timely because both of us have priorities to enhance the capabilities of MSMEs in the country, particularly in the provinces,” said DOST Sec. Fortunato la Peña.

Aside from MSMEs, DTI Secretary Lopez sees this as an opportunity for local governments I pushing for the economic benefits of its citizens.

“DOST and DTI have a common goal which is to bring development to every part of the country. As these two agencies embark [on] this partnership, we assure that we would give our best efforts to maximize the use of each other’s resources and facilities to support the productivity of our local MSMEs and, eventually, allow them to give job opportunities to the local residents,”  Sec. Lopez added. 

Maya – 1 First PH Cube Satellite to be Launched June 29, 2018

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, June 28, 2018

SpaceX Falcon-9 CRS 15 will transport Maya – 1 the Filipino CubeSat to the International Space Station on June 29, 2018. The launch will be at Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA.

Maya – 1’s capabilities include A Store and Forwad System that collects data from ground stations, save, store and forward the data to other ground stations.

Another capability is communications capacity with ham radio stations on the ground. This is by using an Automated Packet Radio Service Digipeater.

Another built-in feature is a low-cost GPS chip ad a magnetometer that can measure magnetic fields in space.

Maya – 1 also has 2 cameras, wide-angle and narrow lens that can capture images for research purposes.

Two other countries will launch their cubesats, Bhutan and  Malaysia.  Maya-1 is one of the three CubeSats under the 2nd Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Project or BIRDS-2 Project of the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) in Japan.

The development of the CubeSat is under the Development of the Philippines' Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat, a research program jointly implemented by the University of the Philippines-Diliman (UPD) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ASTI) in partnership with the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) in Japan.

Diwata – 1 was launched April 26, 2016 and was the first Philippine microsatellite.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Biliran Creates ICT Council

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Biliran ICT Council 

Officers of the Provincial Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Council of Biliran took their oath office last May 18 for the promotion, application, and improvement of ICT for community development in the province.

Leading the oath is Biliran Vice Governor Eriberto Tubis, Jr. in the Municipality of Naval in Biliran and witnessed by Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Director for Visayas Cluster 2 Antonio Padre and National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) Vice President Jocelle Batapa-Sigue.

Batapa-Sigue, who is also president of the Philippine ICT Innovation Network, a private organization of ICT advocates, conducted a capacity development training for all the officers before the oathtaking. Batapa-Sigue lauded the efforts of Biliran in raising the level and participation of its stakeholders from academic, government and industry to maximize the use of ICT to uplift the economic situation of Biliran in Region VIII.

Under an ordinance passed by the Sangguniang Panglalawigan of Biliran in March this year, the ICT council in close collaboration with DICT, the council is responsible in promoting the development and widespread use of emerging ICT, foster and accelerate the convergence of ICT and ICT-enabled facilities, to ensure the availability and accessibility of ICT services, and to provide support to agencies governing and regulating the ICT sector and ensure consumer protection and welfare, data privacy and security, foster competition and the growth of the ICT sector.

The council is also tasked to support the DICT in promoting a policy environment that encourages a broad market-led development of the ICT and ICT-Enabled Services (ICT- ES) sectors, a level playing field, partnership between the public and private sectors strategic alliance with foreign investors and balanced investments  between high-growth and economically-depressed areas and to promote and the development of local ICT content, applications and services which may include support for ICT-based start-up enterprises through strategic partnerships.

The ordinance also encourages the ICT council to promote the use of ICT for the enhancement of key public services, such as education, public health and safety, revenue generation, socio-civic purposes, arts, tourism, and national identity.

The DICT is mandated to ensure the rights of individuals to privacy and confidentiality of their personal information, to ensure the security of critical ICT infrastructure including information assets of the government, individuals, and businesses; to promote digital literacy, ICT expertise and knowledge-building among citizens to enable them to participate and compete in an evolving ICT age, and to empower, through the use of ICT, the disadvantaged segments of the population, including the elderly, persons with disabilities and indigenous and minority groups.

The ordinance also creates the committees on research and planning, education and training, government support and investment and promotions.

Friday, June 8, 2018

KROPS: High-Yielding Cryptocurrency and High-Yielding Agriculture

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, June 08, 2018
KROPS field officers train farmers on how to use the app and alert them to regional supply and demand trends and fluctuations.

Agricultural products will be more in demand in the far future. As far as the year 2050 if projections on population growth remain unchanged and its resulting demand for food stays parallel to it. That is the reason why the traditional system of farm to market will have to be disrupted to meet this projected demand.

KROPS is an app that can be downloaded on smartphones and other gadgets that can be used by both farmers (sellers) and buyers. It is meant to bridge the gap between them and it is open to expansion via new investors using cryptocurrencies. It has its own cryptocurrency and it is known as KropTokens.

KROPS is listed on Iquaint Chain (, a trading platform for cryptocurrencies. On top of this, Krops will also be listed on HitBTC, one of the top 10 exchanges in the world, providing the company a seal of good housekeeping as the ideal cryptocurrency which investors can buy now amid a whole gamut of other cryptocurrencies offered around the globe by various issuers.

Currently, Krops is also available in cryptocurrency wherein the price is US$2.17 per KropToken. Investors can avail of the opportunity opened by KROPS.


Traditionally, farmers would plant their crops, be it palay, vegetable or fruits. When it comes to harvest time, the usual buyers (middlemen) would come calling and the farmer will sell his produce at prices that have been pre-agreed even before planting time.

The results are easy to discern. High prices of agricultural goods and the farmers are still poor. That is the current system and that is why 60% of the poor in this country are rural based and in the agricultural sector.

From the farm to fork, there is a big disconnect. There are buyers who want and need the farm produce and there are farmers who need to sell their produce at prices that will give them their fair share in the system. The gap lies in knowing where the produce are, who plants and sells the produce, transporting them to the markets and even to the end users such as restaurants, food industry participants, and even exporters.

KROPS transcends all these gaps. KROPS in application wherein both buyers and sellers (farmers) get to transact their business without the middlemen who put on added value to the prices of the produce.

All they have to do is download the KROPS app and indicate their details such as where the produce is available, at what prices and the amount of the produce. At the buyer’s end, the buyer can specify the crops or produce that is needed, when it is needed and how much is the offering price.

In this way, KROPS provide a virtual marketplace wherein the farmers and buyers can come to mutually beneficial terms. Also, this communication can enable them to discuss details such as transport and storage while in transit.

To date, KROPS has processed US17 million worth of these agricultural transactions and with the growing demand for food that is projected to further expand into the year 2050, this is the ideal platform to push towards the future of the agricultural sector. In fact, KROPS has an agricultural produce inventory of US$250 million with over 7,000 agricultural producers and farmers using the app.

The beauty of KROPS is that its platform is using Microsoft Azure and that means that it is scalable which is a critical part in sustainability in such app-based systems.

It is clear that KROPS will change how we produce our food and distribute it. Also, it will shift the paradigm in farming and the agriculture industry, specifically for farmers’ productivity, revenue and livelihood sustainability

PH Grade School Students Win in International Competition

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, June 08, 2018

Filipino grade school students took home awards for their participation in the International Engineering Invention and Innovation Exhibition organized by the World Invention Intellectual Property Association and the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations held recently at the Universiti Malaysia Perlis.

The Euphorbia Hirta Dengue-Relieving Tea, the invention of three Taguig Integrated Scool (TIS) students won the gold. The tea helps in the formation of blood platelets that is critical in dengue fever cases. The team was composed of Kenth Andrew Gallardo, Franxes Keisha Joven and Francis Elija Valdez. 

Another team created a mosquito repellent candle and this won the silver medal. Ivan Gabriel de Lumen, Issachar Philippe Zerda and Vien Kiosoffe are the members of this team. They were also from TIS.

Aboitiz Foundation provided support for the team that included financial assistance during the 3-day event.

“I felt a bit nervous during the question-and-answer portion because I thought the questions from the jury would be too hard. Still, I was able to answer some of them,” Gallardo said.

The students cited that dengue fever is prevalent in their cities and seeking ways to address this problem was what inspired them to create their inventions.

Training for ICT’s Role in Disaster Management Conducted by DICT

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, June 08, 2018

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. These disasters range from earthquakes to landslide and floods. This has taken a severe toll on lives, property and even the economy.

These disasters are largely attributed to the country’s geographical position being in the Pacific Ring of Fire where seismic and volcanic events are common and also by being in the typhoon belt where the country is subject to an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually.

The only way to address this is through preparation, training, planning and making these communities disaster and climate change resilient.

Information is crucial in this aspect since it is the frontline in disaster awareness when preparations can be made. Also, information is critical to response, relief, and recovery during after disasters.

This information must be timely and exact and this is where the use of technology can be harnessed. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is at the forefront in utilizing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in meeting the challenges of disasters.

The DICT conducted a three-day training on the effective use of ICT in information dissemination and exchange for use in disaster management. This was held from June 5 – 7, 2018 at the Cocoon Boutique Hotel in Quezon City.

The aim is to give the participants understanding and conceptual information and theoretical principles of Effective Information Exchange using ICT in Disaster Management, identify effective Telecommunication & ICT Solutions for Disaster Prevention, comprehend Early Warning Broadcast System (EWBS) Protocols, and recognize the Role of Broadcasters in the Event of Disasters.

The participants in the training were from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the DICT, Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC).  The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), People’s Television Network (PTV 4), and other concerned national government agencies.

The resource speakers were Mr. Masato Tamura, Senior Director, and Mr. Masakazu Naitu, Director of Japan Telecommunications Engineering and Consulting Service (JTEC), Mr. Seiji Ida, Manager of Japan Radio Co., Ltd. (JRC), and Mr. Haruo Saito, Senior Producer of NHK International, Inc.

Camsur is now “Konekted!"

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, June 08, 2018
Camsur Pipol Konekted!

The province of Camarines Sur in the Bicol Region now has 19 of its municipalities with Wi-Fi hotspots. This spells for more than half of its municipalities and these are free Wi-Fi hotspots. The free internet access in public places in Camsur is provided by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) through its “Pipol Konek” project.

This was announced by Camsur Governor Migz Villafuerte late last May 2018.

Pipol Konek provides free Wi-Fi internet access in public places and is one of the main initiatives o the DICT. Pipol Konek provides free internet access in public places that include public schools, libraries, hospitals, transport hubs, and parks.

DICT Project Manager Eric Toledo stated that the priority of DICT is to provide Pipol Konek to municipalities that are classified as Class 3 to 6 while more developed cities and Class 1 and 2 municipalities will follow.

“We aim to reach out those in the unserved and underserved areas in the country,” Toledo said.

Internet connectivity is now one of the most basic services that can catapult further socio-economic development in localities that have lagged behind in development due to the lack of infrastructure needed.

This will enable these localities to catch up and harness technology for purposes such as education, information and knowledge management, business opportunities, jobs generation, disaster management and delivery of public services.

There are now 1,347 Pipol Konek hotspots in the country since 2016.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

PH Tech Startups to be “ELEVATEd!”

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, June 06, 2018
MOA Signing between DICT and Impact Hub Manila for the Elevate National Roadshow

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is in the Philippines and Tech Startups are in the forefront in the foreseeable future. That is the reason why the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Impact Hub Manila are collaborating to further enhance the establishment and growth of Philippine tech startups.

Acknowledging that the next wave of economic growth will be driven by tech startups, the Elevate National Roadshow project is being kickstarted by the DICT and Impact Hub Manila with the aim of building awareness and empowering startups that will considerably enable them to bring their innovations and ideas to reality.

“We want to learn about their ideas, the challenges they face, and the types of assistance that they need. This will help us find areas where we can engage them as we build a startup ecosystem that supports ICT entrepreneurship and innovation,” stated DigitalPH Program Manager Ms. Emmy Lou V. Delfin, during the Memorandum of Agreement signing between DICT and Impact Hub Manila represented by Undersecretary Monchito B. Ibrahim and Impact Hub Manila Co-Founder & CEO Celesto Eden Rondario last August 28, 2018. Since it is a multi-city project it will also a chance to interact with existing and potential startups I those cities that are participating and also provide an opportunity to advance the expansion of the country’s digital startup pipeline.

“We are excited to partner with DICT as we go beyond Manila and meet entrepreneurs throughout the country.”  “We are committed to bringing the startup ecosystem to the next level, and helping entrepreneurs start, and scale their startups,” Rondario also stated.

Five cities are scheduled for the roadshow this August with Clark in Angeles City, Pampanga as its initial stop. This will include mentoring sessions and discussions with local startups. The roadshow will then proceed to Baguio, Iloilo, Dumaguete, and Cagayan de Oro for this year.

Each stop in a participating city is a two-day event that will feature town hall meetings, learning lab workshops and Scaling.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Filipina Student wins in International Public Speaking Competition

Posted By: The Mail Man - Sunday, June 03, 2018
Johanne Jazmin Tan Jabines

Johanne Jazmin Tan Jabines opened a window on the travails, experiences, and yearnings of Filipinos who are experiencing the Filipino Diaspora.

This enabled her to win the plum in the recently held English Speaking Union’s Public Speaking Competition held in London.

“One Hour at A Time” was Jabines’ winning piece which told of how Filipinos were dealing with the sociological impact of the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) phenomenon. How the realities of separation caused by economic circumstances impact the Filipino society and its nucleus, the family and the responses in dealing with such realities.

It was her condensing all the emotions of millions of families separated and dovetailing it with this year’s theme of “The Best Way to Predict the Future is Invent It” which was done in all five minutes.

Speaking about her personal experience when there was only 1 hour to meet her aunt who was on a 1 hour layover for her flight to Thailand, the urgency of having to make the most of the time allotted for her meeting aptly spoken in the opening “Our clock started ticking when a voice announced the arrival of her flight,” she said in her speech delivered at the Royal Institution. “As soon as I saw my aunt pass through the airport gates, I knew. I am lucky to have a family member who could make the journey back.”
It was not only a plaint for the loneliness of those who leave the country but also those who are left behind. Creating new forms of familial interactions and coping mechanisms is how the future is invented by Filipinos.

“What inspired me to write the speech was really the degree of sacrifices that overseas workers have to make, a reality that is often undermined by [the] government,” she said.
“I have received a lot of positive reactions and heartfelt comments even from strangers, thanking me for talking about our OFWs,” Jabines said.

Jabines is in her 3rd year at the University of the Philippines taking up Business Administration and Accountancy.

She topped the competition composed of a field of 51 participants from various countries.

NYU Summa cum Laude is a Filipina

Posted By: The Mail Man - Sunday, June 03, 2018
NYU Summa cum Laude Janelle Micaella Panganiban

A member of the Gaddang Indigenous tribe of Isabela graduated summa cum laude from New York University.’

Janelle Micaella Panganiban was conferred summa cum laude honors by the prestigious university which is among the largest private universities in the U.S.

Panganiban graduated with three majors in Global Public Health, Public Policy, and Sociology as she blazed a trail for other Filipinas I international academe.

“As a Filipino, I feel like I have the obligation to bring all of these back to the Philippines and at the same time, as a descendant of the Gaddangs, I find myself impassioned for indigenous resurgence as a step to combat the long and embedded history of colonization,” Panganiban said.

Panganiban also garnered the Alexander Shluger award and the Founder’s Day award for excellence in Sociology. The Northern Star Award from the Philippine Consulate General will also be received b Panganiban together with PGRAD 2018 medal and a citation from New York Assemblyman Brian Barnwell at the Philippine Center Kalayaan Hall in New York City this coming June 9, 2018.

“Learn how to engage and really just be critical with everything. The professors encourage that here and I think that’s what I appreciate because it doesn’t seem like they’re doing it to make me feel like I’m wrong but for me to really grow,” Panganiban added.

Janelle is the daughter of ANAC-IP Partylist Representative Jose Pnganiban Jr.

Filipina: Wharton Summa cum Laude

Posted By: The Mail Man - Sunday, June 03, 2018
Lara Andrea Montales: Wharton School 2018 Summa cum Laude

This year’s Wharton School summa cum laude seems destined to such. Lara Andrea Montales has been along the path of excellence since primary school and the culmination of the academic honors is but a logical conclusion to her scholarly pursuits.

The honor is conferred by Wharton School to students who achieve a grade point average (GPA) ranging from 3.80 to 4.00. Montales, who was also a consistent Dean’s Lister in Wharton School maintained a GPA of 3.81 to 3.89. The prestige of Wharton School also adds to the luster of the honor since Wharton School is ranked No.1 in Forbes’ 2017 Best Business Schools in the US.

The journey was evident when Montales was among the awardees and bagged a bronze medal in the China Primary Math Olympiad in 2008. This was also when she was the valedictorian at the Colegio San Agustin in Makati City during her Primary studies.

When Montales was studying at the Philippine Science High School Main Campus, she was also among the those who won High Distinction Awards at the Australian Science Innovation contest held in Australia in 2012. She also was awarded High Honors at the PSHS Main Campus upon graduation.

Montales who is just 21 years old, graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Economics Major in Finance and Business Analytics. She was also an intern with Morgan Stanley in Singapore last year.

Montales will be joining a consulting firm in Chicago by August 2018. 

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