Written by Celeste Ann Castillo Llaneta
Alumni and researchers of the University of the Philippines (UP) have been recognized by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), the highest recognition body on science and technology, for their significant scientific contributions to the country.
The NAST PHL will introduce the new members of the Academy, the 2023 Outstanding Young Scientists, and the researchers who won scientific awards for 2023, in an awarding ceremony to be held on 13 July 2023. This is as the culminating activity of the 45th NAST Annual Scientific Meeting, according to the NAST’s official website.
Three UP scientists and alumni are among the four new NAST PHL Academicians. Membership to the Academy is given to resident Filipino scientists elected as Academicians who have made exemplary contributions to science and technology in the Philippines. The three new Academicians from UP are: Dr. Maria Corazon A. De Ungria (Microbiology) and Dr. Gil S. Jacinto (Chemical Oceanography), both from UP Diliman; and Dr. Roel R. Suralta (Agricultural Sciences) of the Philippine Rice Research Institute.
In addition, a UP alumnus, Dr. Leodevico L. Ilag (Microbiology and Immunology), will be conferred the title of new Corresponding Member, which is given to a non-resident Filipino scientist who has made exemplary contributions to the advancement of science and technology and who must have continuing connections and contributions to Philippine science.
Outstanding Young Scientists for 2023
The NAST PHL will also award nine Outstanding Young Scientists (OYS) for 2023—young Filipino scientists below the age of 40 years old, who have made significant contributions to science and technology. Of the nine, five are members of the UP community:
- Nonawin B. Lucob-Agustin (Agricultural Science) of the Philippine Rice Research Institute;
- Jillian Aira S. Gabo-Ratio (Earth Resources Engineering) of UP Diliman;
- Reinabelle C. Reyes (Astrophysics), Associate Professor at the National Institute of Physics in UP Diliman;
- Albert Remus R. Rosana (Microbiology and Biotechnology) of the UP Los Baños; and
- Ourlad Alzeus G. Tantengco (Molecular Medicine) of UP Manila.
Outstanding Book/Monograph and Outstanding Scientific Paper Awardees
Several UP alumni will also be receiving the NAST’s 2023 Outstanding Book/Monograph awards, which is given annually for books and/or monographs published by Filipino publishers based in the Philippines within five years preceding the award, with the majority of the authors of publication being Filipinos.
One of the two winning books/monographs is titled “The Philippines’ Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Learning from the Experience and Emerging Stronger to Future Shocks”, published by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies in 2022. The UP alumni among its authors are: Celia M. Reyes, Michael Ralph M. Abrigo, Arkin A. Arboneda, Roehlano M. Briones, Carlos C. Cabaero, Maria Margarita H. Debuque-Gonzales, Charlotte Justine G. Diokno-Sicat, Kris A. Francisco, Aniceto, Jr. C. Orbeta, Ma. Kristina P. Ortiz, Valerie Gilbert T. Ulep, Anna Rita P. Vargas, and Jana Flor V. Vizmanos.
The Outstanding Paper (OSP) Award, on the other hand, is given annually for papers published in Thompson Reuters or SCOPUS-listed journals in the Philippines within five years preceding the award. Mudjekeewis D. Santos, who graduated from UP with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, is one of the authors of one of the winning scientific papers, titled “Vulnerability to Climate Change of ‘Giant Squid’ (Thysanoteuthis rhombus) Fishery in Marinduque, Philippines”, published in The Philippine Journal of Fisheries in 2021.
NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists
The winners of the NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists (NTSYS), a project of the NAST to encourage young people to pursue a career in science, will also be awarded. Chosen after the finalists’ paper presentations held on 21 April, the winners of the NTSYS are:
- First prize: Jayson G. Cosme (Physics) of UP Diliman
- Second prize: Michael T. Castro (Chemical Engineering) of UP Diliman
- Third Prize: Ann Franchesca B. Laguna (Computer Science and Engineering) of De La Salle University, who earned her BS Computer Engineering and MS Electrical Engineering degrees from UP Diliman
In addition, Dr. Neil Jerome A. Egarguin (Mathematics) of UPLB and Mr. Charlon A. Ligson (Marine Science) of the UP Diliman Marine Science Institute are among the four who will receive special citations.
NAST Environmental Science Award
Dr. Dranreb Earl O. Juanico (Physics) of the Technological Institute of the Philippines is this year’s NAST Environmental Science Awardee. He is recognized for his outstanding scientific and technological research work that contributes to environmental protection and conservation. He earned his doctorate in Physics from UP Diliman.
With reports by the UP Office of Alumni Relations.