Written by Rowena N. Peter and Mary Charlotte O. Fresco

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”(Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Philosopher)

In time for its 88th General Membership Assembly, National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), the country’s premier agency for basic and fundamental research and the largest collegial body, has named its member-awardees and member emeriti as the recipients of the 2020 NRCP Awards.

Seven (7) NRCP Regular Members (researchers) were carefully chosen as awardees and will be conferred the NRCP Achievement Award, the highest recognition bestowed by the Council since 1979 on its members whose works greatly contributed to the advancement of their respective fields of expertise and responded to the needs and challenges of various industries.

Two (2) awardees will also receive the NRCP Member Emeritus Award which is given in recognition of the member’s distinguished lifetime accomplishments in research and for mentoring younger scientists and researchers.

Indeed, more than their works, is the enthusiasm they demonstrate in sharing their expertise and continued advocacy in encouraging the young to get into research and eventually contribute to the development goals of the country. 

The official presentation of the awardees will be part of the NRCP Annual Scientific Conference and 88th General Membership Assembly on March 10, 2021 via an online platform.

The 2020 NRCP Achievement Awardees per scientific division are the following:

Division of Mathematical Sciences


Full Professor, Institute of Mathematics
University of the Philippines Diliman

Dr. Lope is one of the foremost experts in the area of partial differential equations, contributing both to theory and applications. He has distinguished himself through his significant and numerous research publications in high-quality international and national journals. He serves key positions in research and professional organizations including National Board Member and the current Vice-President of the Mathematical Society of the Philippines. He has received prestigious awards for his research and teaching, such as appointment to the UP Scientist I position, the UP Diliman Gawad Chanselor para sa Natatanging Guro, National Academy of Science and Technology Outstanding Young Scientist Award, NAST-The World Academy of Sciences Young Scientist Award and first prize in the NAST-Du Pont Talent Search for Young Scientists. He has successfully mentored numerous students at all levels.

Division of Biological Sciences


Professor of the Institute of Biological Sciences
University of the Philippines Los Baños

Dr. Paller is a distinguished expert whose advocacy and contributions in the field of parasitology research have fostered interdisciplinary and interagency approaches in addressing parasite control and prevention in poor-resource communities in the country. Her advocacy in promoting ONE HEALTH through evidence-based research, teaching, and extension has fostered interagency and international partnerships, improved academic curriculum, and capacity building of higher education institutions and local communities to improve ecosystem, animal, and human health. She was hailed as one of the UPLB Outstanding Alumni awardees in 2014, awarded the UP Scientist III title, the UPLB Outstanding Teacher in Biological Sciences in 2016, the UPLB College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Researcher Award in 2020, and the One UP Professorial Chair Award for 2016-2021. She has published over 50 original scientific articles in high-impact journals.She also exemplifies excellent leadership and mentoring with the exceptional ability to inspire her colleagues and students to uphold the ideals of honor, excellence, and service. She authored NRCP Monograph titled “Fish Parasites as Heavy Metal Absorbents” and was the project leader of the NRCP-funded project “Diversity and Ecology of Acanthocephalan Parasites in Freshwater Fishes from the Seven Lakes of San Pablo City, Philippines and their Potential as Heavy Metal Bioindicators.”

Division of Agriculture and Forestry


Professor 12 at the College of Forestry and Natural Resources
University of the Philippines Los Baños

Dr. Razal is a distinguished researcher whose work on non-timber forest products such as bamboo and resin contributed greatly to enriching knowledge and providing policy support to improve the lives of people in forest communities.  He has published numerous scientific papers in indexed and peer-reviewed journals, books and book chapters, and technical reports. He is also an accomplished administrator and teacher and received awards such as the 2020 UPLB Outstanding Senior Researcher in Natural Sciences Award, the 2019 Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas – Southern Tagalog Chapter Distinguished Achievement Award in Research, and the 1999 UPLB Outstanding Teacher Award in Physical Science, among others. He shares his technical expertise by conducting training and giving lectures to a wide array of audience and participants. He served as the Chair of NRCP’s Agriculture and Forestry Division from 2016-2020 and as NRCP President from 2018-2020.

Division of Engineering and Industrial Research


Full Professor and Research Fellow
Mechanical Engineering Department
De La Salle University

Dr. Ubando’s research works focus on finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, process integration and optimization, and energy system modelling. He has published more than 120 Scopus-indexed journal papers in the national and international level with an h-index of 13. He is selected as one of the 2017 Asian Scientist 100 for his contribution in the sustainability field. He is a multi-awarded scientist in the Philippines, among his national awards is the Outstanding Young Scientist in 2016 bestowed by NAST Philippines. He is also a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship Program at the University of Arizona and Texas A&M University in 2013. Prof. Ubando has been engaged as an RD Leader under the RD Leadership program being implemented by NRCP for the development of Mindanao Renewable Energy R&D Center.

Division of Physics


Vice-Chancellor for Research and Extension
Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology

Professor Bornales is among the foremost experts in the application of path summation and white noise functional techniques applied to quantum and biomolecular systems. She has applied these methods in contexts such as fermions in Aharonov-Bohm-Coulomb systems, polymer entanglements, fractional Brownian motion, and biomolecular transport. She has actively been engaged in administration work, having served as Chair of the Physics Department, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, and President of the Samahang Pisika ng Visayas in Mindanao (SPVM). She has led projects such as Establishment of Center of Innovation and Technopreneurship (CIT) at MSU-IIT and TBI 4.0: Mindanao SCALE UP Program for DOST-iDEYA TBI. She heads the FABLab Mindanao and   heads the MoCoS (Modeling Corona Spread) Philippine Team, and is a member of the Scientific Board of the Institute for Research Innovation and Scholarship and is the current Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension of MSU-IIT.

Division of Humanities


Assistant Vice-President for Public Affairs
Director of Alumni Relations
University of the Philippines Diliman

Dr. Capili is a Professor of English, creative writing and comparative literature at the College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman. His works were published in Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia. He has held various administrative posts across the UP System since 1997. He was a recipient of the National Book Award (Literary History/Literary Criticism, 2017), the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature (Essay, 1996), the Cultural Center of the Philippines Award for Literature (Poetry, 1993), the UP International Publication Award (2001), the UP Diliman Gawad Chancellor (1998), the UP System Outstanding Student Artist Award (1989), the UP System Creative Writing Grant (2003), the UP Carlos P. Romulo Professorial Chair (1998, 2000), the UP Centennial Professorial Chair (2009, 2010, 2011, 2017), and the One UP Professorial Chair for Teaching and Research (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021), as well as various scholarships, grants and fellowships.

Division of Earth and Space Sciences


Assistant Professor
National Institute of Geological Sciences
University of the Philippines Diliman

Dr. Payot is an expert in igneous petrology and geochemistry whose works significantly contributed to the understanding of the origin and the processes involved in the formation of igneous rock suites called “ophiolites” in different parts of the Philippines. Some of her most notable works include elucidating the evolution of several Philippines islands through petrological and geochemical analyses of ophiolitic rocks in Pujada peninsula, and Palawan, among others. Her research on xenoliths hosted by volcanic rocks in Mt. Pinatubo, the Batanes group of islands and in Baguio also shed light to magmatic and metasomatic processes in the Luzon arc. Aside from her active involvement in geological research in the Philippines, she also currently serves as one of the Board of Trustees of the Geological Society of the Philippines (GSP). Dr. Payot is actively involved in other extension services that aim to bring science closer to the masses through information and education campaigns and various lectures and workshops on geohazards.

The 2020 NRCP Member Emeriti are the following:

Cluster 1


Retired Professor
Department of Sociology
University of the Philippines Diliman

Professor Medina is the recognized expert in the sociology of the family and the author of the only textbook on this topic in the country, The Filipino Family, published by the UP Press (3rd Edition, 2015).  Her other works are on emerging structures and arrangements in families, marriage patterns among slum-dwellers, intermarriage, fragility of marriage and other marital problems, chain migration of families to the United States, outmigration of village families, and the Filipino elderly.

Professor Medina served for more than half a century as a founding member and officer of the Philippine Sociological Society and as pioneering faculty member of the UP Diliman Department of Sociology, and has contributed to the professional growth of several generations of sociologists, now at the helm as institutional leaders in the country.

Cluster 4


NAST Academician
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines Los Baños

Dr. Maala is an expert in veterinary anatomy specially that of the water buffalo. His researches on the anatomy of the Philippine water buffalo have significantly contributed to the improvement of the Philippine water buffalo production in the country. Among the monitoring works of Dr. Maala include the muzzle and palatine printing method which could be adapted as alternative methods in the identification of the Philippine water buffalo. Despite having retired from teaching, Dr. Maala is still actively involved in teaching graduate courses as well as serving as thesis adviser to undergraduate and graduate DVM students. He has just organized the Philippine Association of Veterinary Anatomists (PAVA) and was elected its first President. In recognition of his exemplary accomplishments in teaching and research, Dr. Maala has been honored Outstanding Teacher and Researcher Awards in Veterinary Medicine by various professional and scientific groups in the country.