GEOCON 2023 on the Energy Transition Journey

By: Marcelle P. Villegas March 12, 2024

Joey Nelson Ayson (President, Geological Society of the Philippines) ) [Photo by Engr Janice A. Wayan] 


[Quezon City] Dec. 5-6, 2023 - During the GEOCON 2023 of The Geological Society of the Philippines (GSP), various scientific presentations discussed energy transition, innovative studies and technology applications on Earth Science, and more. The theme of the two-day conference is “Our Natural Resources: Fueling the Energy Transition Journey”.

GSP President, Mr. Joey Nelson R. Ayson said that this aptly captures how we recover from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic and at the same time put Environmental, Social, Governance (“ESG”) at the forefront of their activities. He stated, “It also highlights the significant contribution of geologists and geosciences in general to our socio-economic development, environmental sustainability, and climate change adaptation activities.”

 “This year we have ten (10) distinguished keynote speakers and sixteen (16) sessions in 2 days on various topics ranging from mineral, oil & gas, and geothermal exploration and development, renewable (solar, wind & hydro) energy, environment, geohazards and disaster risk reduction and management, volcanology, tectonics, and machine learning applications.” 

He noted that this year, they focused on giving back to their members who have contributed to the growth of the Society. “Senior (60-64 years old) members can now apply for Life Membership at a much-reduced rate while those 65 years old and above are free. A modest accident insurance for current members is now in place with the premium paid for by the Society. We have also made the Journal of the Geological Society if the Philippines (“JGSP”) available online including back issues for free to current members. We will continue to populate the GSP library with more materials in the future.”

Additionally, he mentioned that they increased their international presence through collaboration with various associations such as the Japan Geoscience Union and the various ASEAN geological societies.

“Lastly, we now have over a thousand current members from about 700 when the year started,” he said.

From a write up by Dr. Jillian Aira Gabo-Ratio, she reported, “The annual Geological Conference (GEOCON) was successfully convened on December 5-6, 2023. The event was able to provide a fully face-to-face gathering for 550 participants at the Monet Grand Ballroom, Novotel Manila, Quezon City with an online option for 590 participants consisting of local and foreign geoscientists, policymakers, media practitioners, undergraduate and graduate students, and other stakeholders.”

“The two-day event consisted of 57 oral and 86 poster presentations spread throughout 10 sessions. With the theme, ‘Our Natural Resources: Fueling the Energy Transition Journey’, there was a good mix of wide-ranging talks distributed among relevant topics such as natural hazards (28%), mineral deposits (15%), machine learning and data science (18%), petrology and tectonics (18%), environment (9%), social license to operate (7%), and energy studies (5%), which highlight the significant contribution of geoscientists to the country.”

She stated that for the first time, speakers were given the option to join the best oral presentation and best poster presentation. The following winners were awarded cash prizes and trophies for best oral paper: 1st – Ma. Yna Rose Garcia; 2nd – Karl Jabagat; 3rd – Dainty Clarice Rabang; 4th – Nathaniel Parcutela; 5th – Clarence Joyce Landingin. The winners of the best poster paper are the following: 1st – Kreyvin Geonathan Andal; 2nd – Lyle Andrei Arenque; 3rd – Jim Paulo Bautista.

“The Geological Society of the Philippines and the GEOCON 2023 Organizing Committee are grateful to the sponsors, donors, and exhibitors for their support. The platinum sponsors are Coral Bay Nickel Corporation and Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation; Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc; Teragrail Geology and Geotechnics Construction Inc.; CTP Construction and Mining Corporation; SLB; Petrogreen Energy Corporation; Filminera Resources Corporation; and Nickel Asia Corporation. The gold sponsors are INAEC Aviation Corp.; FCF Minerals; Philsaga Mining Corporation; Eramen Minerals, Inc.; Bell Geospace; Apex Mining Co. Inc.; Cagdianao Mining Corporation; Intertek; Cordillera Exploration Co., Inc; Didipio Mine; Paramina Earth Technologies Inc.; and Tekton Geometrix Inc. The silver sponsors are Cytek Solutions Inc.; Drillcorp; NPG; PXP Energy Corporation; Nido Petroleum Philippines Pty Ltd; Haraya Wind Energy Corp; CSA Resources Corporation; DESCO, Inc.; PNOC Exploration Corporation; Premier Goe-Exel Inc.; TVI Resource Development (Phils), Inc.; Prime Energy Resources Development B.V.; Wings Technology Enterprise, Inc.; Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company; The Philodrill Corporation; Hinatuan Mining Corporation; Philinstruments Corp.; Carmen Copper Corporation; Philippine Geothermal Production Company; and Republic Cement. The exhibitors for this year include: Philinstruments Corp.; Teragrail Geology and Geotechnics Construction Inc.; Wings Technology Enterprise, Inc.; De Leon Import & Export Corporation; Cytek Solutions Inc.; and SGS Philippines. The donors for the best oral and poster presentation awards are: GHD Pty Ltd.; Association of Filipinos for the Advancement of Geoscience; Major Drilling Group International Philippines, Inc; Quest Exploration Drilling (Philippines), Inc.; Verum Terra Geoscience Inc.; and Marcventures Holdings Inc.. We also acknowledge the great job done by Xperto in providing the online platform.GEOCON 2023 pics from GSP.”

On Feb. 15, 2024, The Geological Society of the Philippines (“GSP”) Annual Dinner and Induction of 2024 GSP Officers and Board of Trustees, Committee Chairs, and Accredited Competent Persons for Geology was held at the Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City.

Engr. Janice A. Wayan reported, “The event was attended by a mix of in-person and online participants with Atty. Fernando S. Peñarroyo, the Professional Regulation Commission Board of Geology Chairman serving as the Inducting Officer.”

The 2024 GSP Officers and Trustees are the following: Mr. Joey Nelson R. Ayson (President), Dr. Rogel A. Santos (Vice President and CPD Council of Geology and CP Accreditation Sub-Committee Representative), Dr. Kevin L. Garas (Secretary and Membership Committee Chairperson), Mr. Christian Paul F. Escarian (Assistant Secretary), Mr. Leopoldo T. Virtucio (Treasurer and Finance Committee Chairperson), Ms. Gizella D. Greta Gonzales (Ethics Committee Chairperson), Ms. Josephine T. Aleta (Geology Development Committee Chairperson), Ms. Beverly Mae M. Brebante, (Continuing Education and Training Committee Chairperson), and Engr. Janice A. Wayan (Public Relations Committee Chairperson).

During the event, the Committee Chairpersons for Elections and International Relations were inducted as well, represented by Ms. Ma. Lourdes Stephanie Leido and Dr. Decibel V. Faustino-Eslava, respectively.

Mr. George B. Baquiran (Vice Chairperson), Mr. Roy Ronald C. Luis (Secretariat Head), Mr. Jesse V. Umbal (Secretariat Vice-Head), and Engr. Leonardo S. Marcelo Jr. (CP Accreditation Sub Committee Vice Chairperson) of the Mineral Reporting Code Committee (“MRCC”) were also inducted that evening.

Another highlight of the event was the oath-taking of three new Accredited Competent Persons (“ACP”) for Reporting Exploration Results/Mineral Resource Estimates under the Philippine Mineral Reporting Code 2020: Mr. John Aldrich S. Angeles, Ms. Princess D. Depalubos, and Mr. Herbert T. Villano.

The oathtaking ceremony was graced by the presence of the entire Professional Regulatory Board (PRB) for Geology; namely, Hon. Fernando S. Peñarroyo, Hon. Benjamin S. Austria and Hon. Elmer B. Billedo.

Hon. Fernando “Ronnie” Penarroyo is Chairperson for PRB (Geology). On his keynote speech during the induction of the board and officers of GSP, he stated, "The Brgy. Masara landslide has again put the mining industry in a negative light. Our profession must be at the forefront to convince local authorities to include geohazards in their development strategies, policies and plans, bereft of parochial politics. Inevitably there will be occasions where tension may occur between our profession and several stakeholders. However, this difference of opinion creates a healthy and robust debate. Notwithstanding this, government officials must be made to realize that they must continue to work alongside our profession. On our part, we must identify opportunities that ensure that our contributions made to disaster preparedness and resilience of communities are recognized."

For more highlights from GEOCON 2023, please visit



[1] Write up on GEOCON 2023 by Dr. Jillian Aira Gabo-Ratio

[2] Write up on The Geological Society of the Philippines (“GSP”) Annual Dinner and Induction of 2024 GSP Officers by Engr. Janice A. Wayan

[3] Speech of Atty. Fernando Penarroyo

Photo credits:

Dr. Jillian Aira Gabo-Ratio, Engr. Janice A. Wayan, Atty. Fernando Penarroyo


Thank you, Mr. Joey Nelson R. Ayson and to all who contributed materials for this article.

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