Eleven Filipino Scientists Listed in Asia’s Top 100 List
by Marcelle P. Villegas - January 21, 2021
(Photo credit: From the website of Asian Scientist Magazine and International Atomic Energy Agency)
Last year (2020), eleven Filipino scientists were included in the Asian Scientist Magazine 100 list for most outstanding researchers and scientists. The list pays tribute to the best and brightest in Asia in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning, Singapore-based magazine about science and technology. It features the latest research and development news stories in Asia. Their online and print publication is managed by a team of professional science journalists, with contributors from industry and academic background. 
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary, Fortunato de la Peña said, “I am proud. Eleven out of 100 among so many Asian countries is a sizable share.” He notes that two of the those listed are heads of DOST agencies, namely; Dr Carlo Arcilla of Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) and Engr.
Robert Dizon of Metals Industry Research
and Development Center (MIRDC). 
According to Asian Scientist Magazine, “Arcilla received the Gregorio Y. Zara Awards for Basic Research in 2019 for his contributions in resolving sensitive issue on mineral resource development, water management and developing peaceful application of nuclear energy in the Philippines.”  A report from Philippine News Agency mentioned, “Dr Arcilla has been encouraging the use of nuclear power in the energy mix, saying this could also help lower one’s electricity bill.”  The Gregorio Y. Zara Award was established by the family of National Scientist Gregorio Y. Zara and the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science in 1968 to honour the most outstanding national scientists of the Philippines. Ever since the award already recognized 70 Filipino scientists and researchers.
National Scientist Dr. Emil Q. Javier is also included in the list. Dr. Javier was Minister of Science from 1981 - 1986 when DOST was still called the National Science and Technology Authority. He is the 42nd National Scientist of the Philippines and one of the only 11 distinguished awardees living today. Just last year on 7 January 2019, President Rodrigo R. Duterte conferred the Order of National Scientist on Dr. Javier at the Malañang Palace. The Order of National Scientist is the highest honour that the Philippine Government can bestow on the Filipino scientist for his/her outstanding contribution to fields of science and technology. 
Academician Dr. Javier was recognized by the Philippine Government for his remarkable studies and writings about the application of biotechnology in agriculture for the alleviation of poverty. He is notable for his significant contribution to the plant breeding research. He is the founder of the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) in University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1975 where their research is about produced high-yielding crops and disease-resistant varieties.
On the molecular microbiology for medical application, scientist Raul Destura of the National Institutes of Health in the University of the Philippines Manila is also included in the list. In 2019, he was awarded the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award for his exceptional work in the development of the Biotek-M dengue aquakit for fast and affordable dengue diagnosis. Currently, Destura is also the lead researcher in the locally developed diagnostic kit that aims to detect COVID-19.
Two other achievers are from University of the Philippines, namely Alonzo Gabriel and Cleotilde Hidalgo-How. Gabriel is a researcher on microbial stress adaptation on food safety and quality. Hidalgo-How is recognized for her work in the understanding, management and diagnosis of tuberculosis in children and adolescents.
From De La Salle University (DLSU), Raymond Tan and Susan Gallardo were recognized in the list. Last year, Tan is a recipient of the Gregorio Y. Zara Award for Advanced Research for his contribution in the development of novel computational techniques for the design and sustainable industrial systems. For Engineering Research, Gallardo was awarded the David M. Consunji Award for her work about environmental engineering and catalysis and industrial and hazardous waste treatment and management.
From University of Santo Tomas, academe Alicia Aguinaldo made it in the list. She was awarded the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies Shimadzu Achievement Award for Chemical Research for her research on Philippine plants that have anti-tuberculosis and anti-diabetic properties.
Another academe, Emma Sales from the University of Southern Mindanao was given recognition for her work in establishing the first tissue culture and biotechnology laboratory in Soccsksargen (Region XII) for developing diagnostic tools for the identification of durian fruit, rubber and mango varieties.
The list also cited Joselito Chavez of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute. He is a recipient of the 2019 Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award. His work is about the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in severe leptospirosis.
In 2019, eight Filipinos were included in the Asian Scientist 100 list. Among them was Gay Jane Perez for Environmental Sciences and Geology.  She is an assistant professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology at the University of the Philippines. Since 2012, she is the President of the Geosciences and Remote Sensing Society. In 2018, USAID-Philippines recognized her as the Philippine representative as one of the finalists for ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women. This was for her work on precision agriculture for improved yields by using remote sensing and satellite data.
Asian Scientist Magazine is published by Wildtype Media Group Pte Ltd. The company is a digital-focused media business for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Wildtype Media Group Pte Ltd. Is also the publisher of Supercomputing Asia, a print magazine about the high-performance computing sector. 
 Asian Scientist Magazine. Retrieved from - https://www.asianscientist.com/about/ and
 Arayata, Maria Christina (10 October 2020). Philippine News Agency. “11 Filipinos among Asia’s top 100 scientists”. Retrieved from - https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1118115
 National Academy of Science and Technology website. “Malacañang confers the Order of National Scientist on Dr. Emil Q. Javier”. Retrieved from - https://www.nast.ph/index.php/13-news-press-releases/475-malacanang-confers-the-order-of-national-scientist-on-dr-emil-q-javier
 (7 May 2019). The Good News Pilipinas Team. “8 Filipino Scientists Among Asia’s Best”. Retrieved from - https://www.goodnewspilipinas.com/8-filipino-scientists-among-asias-best/
Philippine Resources - September 24, 2021
DOTr, Pasay City sign deal for monorail, flyover extension
Residents and those working in Pasay City will soon enjoy easier public transportation after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the city government signed a deal for the construction of a monorail and extension of the Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (Edsa)-Tramo flyover. In a live broadcast on Facebook on Wednesday, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano signed the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the proposed Integrated Pasay Monorail and Edsa-Tramo flyover extension project. Tugade said the project will be interoperable with the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), the Edsa Busway, and the Edsa Greenways. “[Ito ay] makapagbibigay ng mas mabilis at episyenteng biyahe sa mga pasahero. Magiging mas madali na rin ang access patungong central business district (CBD) ng Pasay (This will provide fast and efficient travel to passengers. Access to Pasay CBD will also be easier),” Tugade said. Aside from its benefits to commuters, he said the project will also create jobs. “Ang paulit-ulit kong sinasabi na karugtong ng mga proyekto para sa kaunlaran ay trabaho para sa Pilipino (What I have always been saying is that development projects go hand-in-hand with jobs for Filipinos),” Tugade said. He said the project is a partnership between the DOTr, Pasay City government, and SM Prime Holdings. “Makakaasa 'ho kayong magpapatuloy ang DOTr sa pagsusulong ng mga proyekto para sa ikauunlad ng pampublikong transportasyon sa bansa (You can be rest assured that the DOTr will continue to promote projects for the development of public transportation in the country),” Tugade said. The MOA signing was witnessed by Pasay City Vice Mayor Noel del Rosario, DOTr Undersecretary for Finance Giovanni Lopez, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Reinier Paul Yebra, Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, SM Prime Holdings President Jeffrey Lim, and other representatives from the Pasay City government and the private sector. On Sept. 7, the Pasay City government and the SM Prime Holdings made a joint presentation on the project to the DOTr. By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - September 24, 2021
DOTr eyes GenSan airport as alternate int'l gateway
Photo credit: Department of Transportation The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is pushing for the inclusion of the newly rehabilitated and expanded airport here as among the alternate gateways for returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and international travelers. DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade proposed the move on Thursday as he personally led the formal unveiling and inauguration of the city airport’s new passenger terminal building and other completed facilities. He said the city’s international standard airport can accommodate airline passengers coming in from as far as the Middle East. Tugade said it can be realized once the proposed increase in the daily cap for returning OFWs, currently at 2,000 for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), is approved. Once the cap is expanded, he said NAIA might “choke” with the influx of airline passengers from various countries. “If we will increase the cap, we need to expand our gateways and not limit them to Clark, Cebu, and NAIA. We can include GenSan among the gateways for travelers from Doha who are going to Manila,” he said in a press conference. He said they will propose such strategy with the airlines serving the international routes, including the Philippine Airlines, and seek the approval of the city government. The other possible alternate gateways could be the Laoag International Airport in Ilocos Norte and the Bohol-Panglao International Airport, Tugade said. The rehabilitated and expanded General Santos Airport passenger terminal building, which was completed early this month, is part of the PHP959-million upgrade implemented by the national government. The other completed components are the procurement and installation of navigational aids and the construction of the new Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) administration building at the airport. Under the project, Tugade said the passenger terminal area has tripled in size from 4,000 to 12,000 square meters. “This will allow the airport to accommodate more passengers and provide them comfortable and convenient travel,” he said in his speech. A DOTr report said the larger passenger terminal building can now accommodate around 2 million passengers annually, a significant jump from the previous 800,000 per year. Tugade said the improvement at the city airport will continue next year with the upgrading of its air control tower, which he considered as “too low.” He said they will build a “higher and modernized” tower in 2022 to make it “more world-class” and can easily adjust to the needs of the airport. The official said the upgrading of the airport, which started in 2018, is among the agency and the national government’s top priorities in Mindanao. He said the initiative is part of the government’s efforts to bring more progress and economic opportunities in Mindanao, which “suffered from long years of neglect in terms of development.” Tugade said they endeavored to implement these projects despite the challenges posed by the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic to pursue their goal of giving a “comfortable and convenient life” to Filipinos. “After the pandemic, we want all these developments in place and ready to benefit the people,” he said. In a video message, President Rodrigo Duterte commended the DOTr, the local government, and concerned stakeholders for completing the projects at the city airport amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the city has “gone a long way” in terms of the development of its air connectivity and airport facilities. “The rehabilitation and expansion of the airport passenger terminal building, among others, will truly boost General Santos City’s role as an agro-industrial and eco-tourism hub,” the President said. City Mayor Ronnel Rivera lauded the national government for helping the city realize its dream of having an international-standard airport. Aside from the expanded passenger terminal building, the airport is now capable of accommodating bigger aircraft like Boeing 737 and 747, as well as Airbus A330, A340, and A350. “(What) we are seeing now is a result of multisectoral commitment and dedication in various stages of the airport development, which includes coordination of several initiatives, preparation of the airport master plan, operations, and marketing,” he said. The mayor said the local government will continue to engage with prospective investors and airlines for the opening of more flights to and from the airport and the development of adjacent areas. He cited the proposed establishment of an aerotropolis or growth area centered on the city airport and its surrounding areas. “We are opening a wide array of opportunities, not only on the improvement of our infrastructure facilities but also in terms of investments that will generate more economic opportunities for the city and the entire region (Soccsksargen),” he said. Aside from the inauguration of the airport projects, Tugade also led the unveiling of completed initiatives at the Makar port here. The DOTr said it includes the construction of the Port Operations Building and other vital facilities, which includes a parking area, covered court, port manager’s quarter or Day Care Center, and drainage system. “The improved port of Makar will now offer safer, comfortable, and a more convenient port experience to passengers, while ensuring a faster turnaround for vessels, cargo trucks, and other ancillary service providers,” it said. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - September 22, 2021
Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway 83% Complete
Photo credit: Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway As of August 31, 2021, the construction progress of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) project was at 83.84 percent. The P30-billion toll bridge, which will be substantially completed by the end of 2021, will use a full electronic toll system when it opens to motorists in the first quarter of 2022 to enable faster traffic flow and seamless travel. The project recently marked a milestone with the completion of the installation of all 56 stay cables that hold the main bridge deck. On September 11, the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC), through its contractor, installed the last and longest stay cable, which is 219 meters long. The gap on the main bridge, on the other hand, is now down to only two meters before span closure and preparations are underway for the lowering of the form travelers. These form travelers, which weigh 500 tons in each tower, were used to construct the main bridge’s pier table and deck. Also, all 434 NU (Nebraska University) girders for the entire project have already been installed. With this, the mobile launching gantry used to install the girders have been demobilized. At the Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR) on ramp and off ramp sections of CCLEX, construction of its substructures is complete. Ongoing works are now on the installation of precast planks and the concreting of deck slab. Also finished is the 200-meter pedestrian footbridge beside the CSCR with all six prefabricated steel walkways already installed. The footbridge will start near the U-turn slot of the South Road Properties’ welcome tower and will connect to the on-ramp sidewalk of CCLEX. At the Cebu viaduct, the construction of deck slab is ongoing. The Cordova viaduct, on the other hand, is now structurally complete with its substructure already done. Installation of handrails are underway. At the causeway, embankment works continue to progress with the placing of 20 vent pipes, which equalize the flow of seawater along the Cordova Channel, is finished. Also structurally complete are the four low-level bridges along the causeway, which will provide fishermen continued access to their fishing grounds. Aside from these, works are ongoing for the toll plaza and the CCLEX Operations and Maintenance Center. CCLEX, highlighted by its iconic crosses on top of the twin pylons of the cable-stayed main bridge over the Mactan Channel, is Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation’s (MPTC) first toll road project outside Luzon. CCLEX, which will be the third link to Mactan Island from Cordova Municipality to mainland Cebu through Cebu City’s South Road Properties, has a design speed of 80 kilometers per hour (kph) and a navigational clearance or height of 51 meters to allow large vessels to pass underneath the bridge. Not only is CCLEX seen to reduce traffic and make traveling more convenient but also spur trade activities and open greater economic opportunities for Cebu and the rest of the Visayas region. CCLEX is a project of Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC), in partnership with the local government units of Cebu City and Municipality of Cordova. CCLEC is a wholly owned subsidiary of MPTC, the toll road arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), a publicly listed infrastructure holding company and a member of the MVP Group of Companies. MPTC is the largest toll road concessionaire and operator in the Philippines, which expansion goals include establishing toll operations in the Visayas, other parts of the Philippines, and in neighboring countries notably Vietnam, and Indonesia. Article courtesy of Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway