May 11, 2022 – Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones praised Filipino learners who excellently represented the Philippines in international science, mathematics, and research competitions in the past years.

Secretary Briones cited the recent triumph of Oriental Mindoro National High School’s Grade 10 STEM learners Symone Monika A. Yambao and Juliene Gabrielle U. Catibog in the 12th Regional Congress Search for SEAMEO Young Scientists’ (SSYS) last March 7-10, 2022.

“I commend our learners, together with their passionate teacher-coaches, who are dedicated to prove that Filipinos are world-class in science, mathematics, and innovation, even amidst a global health crisis. DepEd will continue to hone the young generation as we prepare them for the challenges of the future,” Sec. Briones said.

Guided by Teacher Aldrin Ramilo, Yambao and Catibog were awarded Most Promising Young Scientists (Science Category) in the said international search for their science paper ‘Exploring the Potential of Cycloid Fish Scales as a Sustainable Bioplastic.’

“Of all the intelligent students that participated in the event, we didn’t expect that two students from a province in a country so little would even be considered for this award. We’re just really glad that our study can possibly have a great impact on our community and winning this award just motivated us to further improve our study,” Yambao said.

The Education chief also lauded Iloilo National High School’s alumna and a product of the National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF) Maria Isabel Layson, who was recently recognized as one of the 2022 Young Shapers of the Future (Health and Medicine) of Britannica. Before being recognized in Britannica’s list, Layson won Best Individual Research in Life Science at the NSTF for studying aratiles or sarisa and its antioxidant compounds that combat diabetes.

Meanwhile, Briones also noted that Filipino learners have been reaping awards on the global scene even before the pandemic.

According to the records of the Bureau of Curriculum and Development, DepEd produced annual winners in competitions such as the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), ASEAN Quiz Regional Competition, and Mathematics Guild of the Philippines.

In 2019, the trio of E’van Relle Tongol, Shaira Gozun, and Neil David Cayanan of Angeles City Science High School, Pampanga bagged an honorable mention in ISEF for their project, titled “Hibla,” a sound-absorption material made from locally available fibers abaca, bamboo, and water hyacinth. A year before, Joscel Kent Manzanero, Keith Russel Cadores, and Eugene Rivera of Camarines Sur National High School bagged the Second Grand Award in the Energy: Physical category of ISEF for inventing the Solar-Tracking Arduino-Rooted PV Panels which improve the power harvesting and generating capacity of photovoltaic cells by mimicking a flower.