DOST, ISAT U collaborate for data science program and Smart Cities

DOST 6 Regional Director Rowen R. Gelonga (3rd from left), PCIEETRD Executive Director Enrico C. Paringit (c) and ISAT U President Raul F. Muyong join hands after signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the establishment of the  research equipment and facilities portal for Program on Data Science for Good Governance. Witnessing the signing of the MOU are (l-R) Engr. Emelyn P. Flores, DOST 6 ARD  for Technical Operation:  Dr. Rowena Christina L. Guevara, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development; Dr. Carmelo V. Ambut, ISAT U VPRE and Engr. Naci John C. Trance, IPMO Director.

The Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) and the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEETRD) and the Department of Science and Technology through Western Visayas Consortium for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (WVCIEETRD) signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to maintain and develop research equipment and facilities in the area of data science and smart cities.

Under the agreement, ISAT U can provide the necessary expertise and facilities needed for the collaboration to complement the PCIEETRD science and technology sectoral plans and programs on its delineated sector which includes Data Science and Smart Cities.

As defined by DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Enrico C. Paringit, a smart city harnesses the use of science and technology and innovation to deliver good governance and services to be public.

Paringit explained the concept of the portal for Program on Data Science and Good Governance which is also in line with ISAT U’s thrust in research and development, and computer studies. “They (ISAT U) will have to train a pool of students and people working at the local governments in order to apply data science techniques”.

DOST Region VI Director Rowen R. Gelonga added that the purpose of the collaboration between DOST and ISAT U is to create a pool of experts on data science or data analytics.

Gelonga also passed on the challenge to ISAT U to probably open degree programs or even post-graduate programs related to data science, which is a multi-disciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract knowledge.

He emphasized the importance of collaboration in the growth of smart cities. Gelonga also divulge “Innovate Iloilo” which is a master plan to position Iloilo as an innovation hub by 2030. “This is a broad-based multi-stakeholders effort involving the local government units, the business sector, the government, the academe and the research institutions and other stakeholders’ collaboration of the local government units and other stakeholders,” he said.

The MOU was signed by Engr. Gelonga, Dir. Paringit and ISAT U President Raul F. Muyong was held during the ninth anniversary of DOST-PCIEERD held for the first time in Iloilo City on June 13, 2019.

1st reg’l yarn production and innovation center looms at ISAT U

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the establishment of the P41.57-million Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Center (RYPIC) was signed by (seated , L-R) Great Women Philippines Corporation President Jeannie Javelosa, Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) President Dr. Raul F. Muyong, Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) Director Celia Elumba, Miagao Mayor Macario Napulan, and Department of Science and Technology (DOST-6) Director Rowen Gelonga .

Designed to revive and to develop the hand-loom weaving (hablon) and fiber industry, the country’s first Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Center (RYPIC) will soon emerge at Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U).

The Memorandum of Agreement for the launching of the PHP 41.57 million facility was signed by ISAT U, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), the Municipality of Miagao, and the Iloilo Greatwomen Philippines Corporation (GWPhC) at ISAT U Miagao Campus on March 8, 2019.

Hand-loom weaving has been part of Miagao’s cultural and historical heritage. The once thriving hand-loom weaving in the region dates back in the 18th century. Mayor Macario Napulan recalled that Miagao was the center for the handwoven textile and there were almost 4,000 looms in the municipality then.

However, the migration of workers to the sugar industry in Negros and the availability of ready-to-wear caused the decline of the industry.

Ms. Celia Elumba, PTRI Director, explained how the project was formed. “We didn’t start with a concept, thinking that it is simply prototyping. Meaning we really insisted that this is going to be production and innovation. It was produced to fuel an industry,” she said.

On her visit at ISAT U on July 28 last year, Ms. Elumba said that fabrics made of indigenous materials and woven the traditional way are high-priced. “Hand woven-fabrics are more expensive, especially abroad, if made of native materials such as cotton, abaca or pineapple fibers” she explained. Giving importance to its social, economic, ecological and sustainability components, she also emphasized the use of dyes from local plants and materials that add value to the fabric. PTRI, the premier textile research and development arm of the DOST, set the goal of producing purely and uniquely Filipino products.

ISAT U’s challenges on research and development

Considering its thrust on research and development, ISAT U will act as Chief Coordinator among the parties. Aside from the production facility at Miagao Campus, the Iloilo City Campus will provide expertise in science, engineering and technology for the development of natural dyes and materials and for prototyping the loom machines.

Dr. Carmelo V. Ambut (right) enjoys the moment with Miagao Mayor Macario Napulan after the MOA signing at ISAT U Miagao Campus.

Dr. Carmelo V. Ambut, ISAT U Vice President for Research and Extension Services, said that the University is challenged to create distinct and unique blends of cotton with other local fibers. “There are a lot of plants, like bamboo, that could be potential source of fibers. In research, everything is possible,” he said.

“We will also conduct ethnobotanical researches, cultivate and propagate raw fabric materials that was never used before. We will also develop equipment for pre-treatment, degumming and spinning to speed up production.” Dr. Ambut added.

He also divulged a plan of creating a “power loom” for mass production of indigenous fabrics. “Power looms will be used for mass production of polyester-free fabric and reduces the use of plastic. This contributes to environmental concerns.” He also negates the effect of power loom to hand-loom weaving. “Hablon produce by hand-loom will maintain its prestige and value since it is considered as special fabric and is not mass produced, “ Dr. Ambut explained.

A textile village is also envisioned to propel economy and boost the municipality’s tourism. This features a mini museum showcasing the hablon’s evolution, a training center and hands-on facility in hablon-making and a souvenir shop.

The University considers Dumangas and Leon Campuses’ potentials for cultivating raw materials. ISAT U President Dr. Raul F. Muyong said that the 85-hectare property in Brgy. Aglalana, Passi City will be developed to produce pineapples to be able to “supply the requirements of the center, both for production purposes of textiles and for research and development.”

Through the project, Dr. Muyong is also looking at the opportunity to open new programs on weaving and the fabric industry. The board has been discussing about opening a Certificate in Textile Technology that will train students on the textile process, later, Diploma in Textile Technology where research in natural fiber will be developed and the Bachelor of Science in Textile Technology to produce manpower.

He is optimistic that the center will bring back the interest of students in weaving. “ISAT U used to offer weaving as one of the electives sa girls trade but as the time goes, wala na sang nagka-interest, thus nagdeteriorate ang ila looms. But I hope that with this, we will be able to integrate into curriculum this program and bring back their interest,” said Dr. Muyong.

RYPIC and its impact to research, industry and economy

Engr. Rowen R. Gelonga, DOST RO6 Director, emphasized the importance of the yarn center. “This is one of the biggest facilities in terms of yarn production outside of PTRI. This is the first in the country. This will now be the basis for any possible subsequent projects in other parts of the Philippines,” he said.

The University key officials, representatives from different partner agencies dance and sing to show their full cooperation to the project.

Gelonga added that 29 million of the 41.57 million peso budget will be used for the equipment and the remaining for the supply and materials. The project will have 9 equipment and ancillaries for fiber pre-treatment and 18 for yarn production.

The project is also expected to strengthen research and development. “Our facility can be used by researchers and scientists to produce more technologies. They can experiment new types of yarns, although we are now focused on cotton,” said Engr. Gelonga.

On the same note, Dr. Muyong said that, “this will give opportunity to ISAT U to improve its research culture because we are the only science and technology university in the region. Our role in research development is very important.”

As to its impact to the community, Engr. Gelonga cited the benefits of the project to the locals. He stressed that  “we can be able to localize everything, we can plant our own cotton, we can produce our own thread and yarns and give it to our weavers, so more people can benefit.”

Mayor Macario Napulan said that the project is a big lift to the town’s hablon-making industry and could spur development in the country’s textile industry. “The regional center is an improvement not only in the weaving industry textile production in Maigao but also in the country, “he said. In 2013, Napulan started reviving the industry with only 50 weavers left and the number increased by 200.

Considering the sustainability of the project and the marketability of the products, the GWPhC in close coordination with the University will oversee the implementation of the project. At the lapse of the two-year period of the Agreement, it will take over the ownership and operation of the RYPIC.

University raises awareness on quality TVET programs

Dr. Raul F. Muyong gives emphasis on enhacing and giving quality to TVET programs .

Aimed to raise the consciousness of the University Academic Community on the revised guidelines on Unified TVET Programs Registration and Accreditation System (UTPRAS) registration, scholarships and other programs offered by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA),  a forum on  increasing awareness towards quality TVET programs was held at ISAT U Research Hub on March 22, 2019.

The salient features  of quality TVET programs was elaborated by Ms. Gina Sophia Mondejar, Technical  Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Iloilo Provincial Director. On the other hand,  Ms. Ofelia de la Cruz, TESDA Supervising Specialist, explained the scholarship guidelines.

Senior TESD Specialist  Shiela H. Judilla, on the other hand, discussed the Unified Program Registration and Accreditation (UTPRAS). The  impact of the Universal Access on Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA) to technical-vocational education was presented by Ms. Agnes Dimzon, TESD Specialist II.

Prof. Jeanneth Darroca, steering committee chair, said that registering under the UTPRAS  would  enable the students  to avail scholarships funded by TESDA and the faculty of training and scholarships.  “Our TVET courses would benefit not only on the scholarships and training but also on the facilities TESDA may give us, “ Darroca said.


ISAT U strengthens linkages and partnerships

Dr. Raul F. Muyong leads the key university officials in giving the certificate of recognition to representatives of different partner agencies and institutions during the Industry Linkages Recognition and Fellowship.

Believing  that stronger partnership is essential in students’ development and learning, an Industry Linkages Recognition and   Fellowship was held on March 12,  2019 at Diversion 21, Iloilo City

Through the years,  the University has been working with various companies and agencies for  students’ activities such as on-the-job trainings, industry immersion,  scholarships, job opportunities and other support services.   One hundred and twenty four (124)  partner companies were present to renew friendship and meet new acquaintances.

Initiated by the Industry Linkages and Development Office (ILDO), the affair also aimed to     strengthen industry linkages, enhance the students performance to the industry, and recognize and   renew partnership of industries.


GAD features women’s capacity to address climate change

Empowered women can  make change.

The Gender and Development (GAD)   celebrated the  International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018  with emphasis on the capacity of  women to address the problem of climate change.

The resource persons, all women,   rallied the faculty, staff and students to act and help in mitigating the effect of the climate change.

Ms. Katherine Firmeza, presented the different perspective of women’s role in her talk entitled Women in Climate Action.  She was the former Senior Program Coordinator of the Climate Change Commission-United Nation Development Program– New Zealand Assistance Program Project ReBUILD.

Prof. Rosanna R.Dureza, over-all coordinator, distribute goodies to the female staff and faculty members to mark the International Women’s Month Celebration.

The women in science and technology was discussed by Iloilo State College of Fisheries (ISCOF) President Dr. Godelyn G. Hisole. She also underscored womens’ capacity to make changes. Dr. Hisole was a faculty member and the first Dean of the College of Engineering of ISAT U before  becoming president of the Iloilo State College of Fisheries (ISCOF), Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo.

To stress  the power of women in environmental awareness,  Ms. Flosyl Piad-Almirante was invited as resource person in the Lecture-Forum on the Youth and Climate Change. Ms Almirante is the Environment and Natural    Resource Officer of the Municipality of Dumangas Iloilo.  She accentuated   that the Philippines is fourth of the most affected  country by climate change  and the role of Filipino youth and women to help heal the environment.

Aside from lectures,  free blood sugar testing, health check-up, free massage and health lectures were  given to the faculty and staff as part of the International Women’s Month celebration.


ISAT U joins Dinagyang Festival

As part of its extension services and community engagement, the University participated in the different activities of the world renowned Dinagyang Festival on January 26 and 27, 2019.  Tribu Panganinao,  the ISAT U tribe for the festival, wowed the crowd as it portrayed the Ilonggo way of life in dances and cultural presentation during the Kasadyahan street parade. The ISAT U performers joined as a non-competing group to give additional color to the celebration and to entertain the guests.

The bloodletting activity allows students, faculty and staff to help humanity by donating their blood.

In its commitment to social responsibility, the University through the Extension Services Division also joined the Dinagyang Blood Olympics. It is a project to generate blood donations for the Philippine National Red Cross. The students, faculty and staff donated 23 bags of blood.

The ushers and the usherettes, (left) and the students with their creations in the gala fashion show.

Dinagyang is also an avenue of learning for Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Technology (BSHRT) and Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design and Merchandising (BSFDM) students. The BSHRT students served as ushers and usherettes in the Miss Dinagyang Beauty Pageant while the BSFDM students displayed their creations in pageant’s gala fashion show.


Beneficiaries receive RA 10931 education subsidy

One thousand and three hundred eighty (1,380) beneficiaries from ISAT U received the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017 or the RA 10931 on January 14, 2019.

Of the total beneficiaries, Miagao Campus has 630 recipients, Leon Campus, 440; Barotac Nuevo Campus, 209 and Dumangas Campus, 101. Each beneficiary received payment for June 2018  to January 2019 subsidy. RA 10931 grants Php 20,000 per semester (Php 4,000/month) to qualified beneficiaries.

Prior to the distribution, the beneficiaries and their parents were oriented on the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA 10931.

In the orientation, (above photo) Dr. Raul F. Muyong emphasizes to use the money to where is it due and (below) a parent calls on all beneficiaries to use the money for poverty alleviation  for the needs of the students.

Ms. Donna Marie Magbanua, DSWD Institutional Partnership and Development Officer of NGAA , explained the manner of selection and the plans of the department for assessment and admission of additional beneficiaries.

UniFAST Coordinator, Ms. Christine A. Real, reviewed the qualification of the beneficiaries, the scope of free tuition and other fees and the duration of benefits of RA 10931. Satisfactory grades as retention requirement was also emphasized.

Ms. Real also recognized the quality education the university offers, “Congratulations again because ISAT U is offering quality education, lahat kasi ng courses approved and recognized by CHEd.” According to the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR),  only students enrolled in courses recognized by CHED may avail the subsidy.

“Would there be any reason for you student not to pass with your subject and not to graduate? Education is the greatest tool against ignorance. Graduate. Graduate. Graduate,” was the challenge posed by Ms. Real after discussing the IRR of the TES.

Halungan ta ang kwarta nga ginhatag sang gobyerno kanaton. Gamiton ta ang kwarta para makalakbay sa kaimulon. Gamiton ta ti sakto, (We will take care of the money granted by the government. We will utilize it to the fullest to get out of poverty)” was the message of a parent to all the attendees of the orientation during the open forum.

This is relevant to the call of ISAT U President Dr, Raul F. Muyong for all students to study hard and make use of the opportunity given to them and for the parents to support their children. A total of 2, 690 parents and student beneficiaries attended the orientation.

Capacitating communities: ISAT U’s commitment to social responsibility

Prof. Rosanna R. Dureza, project leader, explains the progress of the program to Mr. Tim Sterwardson, New Zealand Deputy Head of Mission (2nd from right) and Ms. Gemma Regina Cunanan (left) of the Philippine Climate Change Commission on their monitoring visit.

True to its commitment to social responsibility, ISAT U developed a program  geared to prevent loss of lives, properties and resources due to climate change hazards specifically rain-induced landslides  and to strengthen efforts towards climate change adaptation, mitigation and  resiliency.

With a pool of faculty members who have undergone trainings with Project Rebuild of the Climate Change Commission  (CCC)  and the Department of the Interior and  Local Government (DILG), a three-year (2018-2021) program  “Capacitating Communities in Mitigating  Impacts of Climate Change (CCMICC)” was conceptualized.


ISAT U faculty members conduct community field work on landslide susceptibility assessment at Barangay La Consolacion, Miagao, Iloilo.

 The project  identified the Municipality of Miagao, Iloilo as the   partner Local Government Unit for implementation due to its vulnerability.  As of 2016, the Mines and  Geosciences Bureau (MGB)  Region 6 identified  Miagao as one of the municipalities in the Province of Iloilo  having many communities vulnerable to rain induced landslides.

After an exploratory talks with the local authorities of the municipality and a series of meetings with the geologists of the MGB, a site inspection and documentation of communities  in Miag-ao  with slope failures due to rain induced landslide was held on October 22-24, 2018.

The university, in collaboration with Kalinga State University   (KSU),  started conducting trainings in mitigating disaster caused by landslides to 120  non-expert individuals  in 24 barangays on November 7.

The training utilized a guidebook  and a landslide susceptibility assessment material develop by KSU.  It introduces procedures, practical techniques and technologies and involves a knowledge set easily understood by the locals.

Training of communities and non-experts in reducing disaster caused by rain-induced landslides at Miagao, Iloilo.

Aside from training on risk reduction on rain-induced landslides, the project will also  conduct a vulnerability risk assessment for the enhancement of the local climate change action plan, formulate  project  proposals  geared towards  climate change adaptation, mitigation, and resiliency  to  access    climate finance  subsidy  e.g. People’s Survival Fund, initiate  the conduct of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventory in the  Poblacion area of the  municipality ,  and to initiate  activities and engagements towards the possibility of green energy utilization in the Municipality of Miagao.

On December 7,  New Zealand Head of Mission Mr. Tim Stewardson with Rune Raphael Ylade and,   Ms. Gemma Regina Cunanan of the Philippine Climate Change Commission    visited the university for complete monitoring  and project evaluation .  Through the Climate Change Commission, the Project ReBuild of the New Zealand government is providing the financial support to the Municipality of Miagao for program implementation.

Miagao Mayor Macario Napulan expressed his gratitude and support to the program.  Meanwhile, according to Dr. Raul F. Muyong “this project is a testament of ISAT U’s social responsibility to help build resiliency in the community.”

In 2017, similar project was developed to help mitigate the effects of flood to the people of the Municipality of Zarraga, Iloilo which is located adjacent to Jalaur River, one of the biggest rivers in Iloilo Province.


DTI turns over 7 million facilities to ISAT U for MSMEs

ISAT U President Dr. Raul F. Muyong and DTI Regional Director Rebecca M. Rascon sign the Memorandum of Agreement and Usufruct Agreement for the turn-over of shared services facilities.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) turned over  facilities worth seven million to the University through a Memorandum of Agreement and Usufruct Agreement signed at the Research Hub on December 21, 2018. The facilities consist of machinery and equipment such as laser cutter, plasma cutter, wood router, embroidery machine, thermal former, large scale tarpaulin printer, and laptop. It is part of DTI’s Shared Services Facilities (SSFs) “Shared Services for Filipino Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs)” program, which are expected to spur the growth of micro, small, and medium scale enterprises through the university’s research and innovation.

DTI VI Regional Director Rebecca M. Rascon said that the university was chosen as beneficiary due to its accessibility and the full support of the administration, its relevance to the vision and mission of ISAT U in going for industry support through researches and in promoting the MSMEs. She also believes that not only the students will benefit from the facility but also the micro, small and medium enterprises, who will further avail of the services of ISAT-U.

Dr. Raul F. Muyong, ISAT U President, expressed his gratitude for being chosen as the project’s beneficiary. “This will help in our instruction and research especially on innovation and technology.  We are thankful that we were chosen by the DTI.” He added that “the facilities can assist our small and medium enterprises and assist in our innovation initiatives.”

The university president underscored the big advantage of the project to ISAT U. “It is very relevant since we offer engineering design. This will also help in promoting our research initiatives,” he said. Innovation and technology is part of the university’s vision and mission in helping the community. He believed that through the innovation initiatives it will help the MSMEs. “ I am sure this will help in improving lives of the people not only in the region but in the whole country,” he added.

The DTI provided the machinery and equipment for the Fabrication Laboratory at the Research Hub.

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17 profs present papers in Indonesia confab

Professors from different countries gather to explore ideas on teaching science, technology and mathematics. 

Seventeen professors of Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) presented 12 research papers in the 1st Universitas PGRI Yogyakarta (UPY) International Conference on Applied Science and Education (1st UPY-INCASE) & 2018 International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (5th ICESDev) at Yogyakarta, Indonesia on October 24-26, 2018.

The conference was also a venue for networking and partnership among the higher education institutions.  Dr. Manuel A. Sanchez, Jr.,  Vice President for Academic Affairs, signed an agreement for educational collaboration with 22 Indonesian  colleges and universities.

With the theme, “Integrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for Future Education”, the conference was co-sponsored by the Association of Science and Mathematics Coaches of the Philippines (ASMAC Philippines). Dr. Jasper L. Pastrano, ASMAC President and ISAT U professor was the first keynote speaker. He talked on “The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education: A Vital Approach to Sustainable Development in the Philippines.”

Delegates from ISAT U shared their studies relevant to the activity’s theme. Below are the different presenters and their respective researches.