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Xavier Ateneo presents blue carbon research at FIMFS convention

November 2, 2019

Xavier Ateneo - McKeough Marine Center (MMC) participated at the 51st annual convention of the Federation of Institutions for Marine and Freshwater Sciences (FIMFS) held at the Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) from October 16 to 18. The study was presented by Chev Duay (XU Marine Biology alumnus, 2017), MMC research assistant, with co-author of the study was Elaine Villlaluz, XU Marine Biology faculty.  The other authors of the study, Rad Edulan (XU Marine Biology alumnus, 2017), MMC research assistant and Fr Mars Tan SJ, project leader, were not able to join the convention.   The study presented used field data collected in the mangrove mapping in the Macajalar Bay Project of the XU-MMC and the Forest Foundation Philippines.  The study titled, “Biomass, Carbon Stock, and Community Structure of Mangroves in Macajalar Bay” was conducted to estimate the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide absorbed and then stored inside the biomass of mangrove trees in the form of leaves, branches, roots, and stems. The carbon sequestered and stored in mangroves is called "blue carbon." The results showed that the mangroves in Macajalar Bay (20 different species) which cover a total of 170 hectares have stored an estimated 99,161.17 tons of organic carbon.  This total amount of organic carbon stored in Macajalar Bay mangroves is equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of 75,696 people (fossil CO2 emissions) or the yearly CO2 emission of 21,500 passenger vehicles.   A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year (US Environmental Protection Agency). The study will provide vital information to mangrove forest managers, planners, planters and the like to boost and encourage the planting of mangroves as a strategy to help mitigate climate change.

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Teacher Clariz Jane Lasala: ‘Being a teacher takes so much courage’

October 31, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — Her photos may have gone viral on social media recently but it was her story that captured the hearts of the people.  Clariz Jane Lasala, a teacher from Butuan City, carried the baby of her young student while the latter was taking a test. The high school student could not find someone to take care of her baby at home so she brought her daughter to the classroom. “Ma’am, pwede ko mag-excuse sa quiz today, wala man g’yud makabantay sa akong baby?” begged the student. (Ma’am, may I be excused from the quiz today because no one will take care of my baby?) “Take the quiz and I’ll take care of your baby,” Teacher Clariz replied.  Their exchange was posted on Facebook and has soon been shared by netizens and the media, calling the act as "inspiring and courageous." “It was definitely something I would do in that kind of situation, seeing someone doing her part and exerting an effort … as a student would, naturally make you want to help,” Teacher Clariz shared. “I carried the baby for almost two hours while her mom took the exam but I didn’t feel any struggle while the baby was with me because I accepted the situation as a blessing.”  The event helped Teacher Clariz realize that being a teacher “doesn’t always equate to conducting quizzes, exams, and projects.”  She said: “I wanted her mom to know that she was not alone in her battle, especially at that moment. I want her to realize that whatever hardships she may go through as a student and as a mother, she will never be let down by the Man above.”  Many teenage moms face the stigma when they come to school with their baby in tow. But Teacher Clariz decided that she would volunteer to take care of the baby so her student could take the test along with her classmates. “For me, being a ‘teacher for others’ must be the ultimate goal of every individual that ought to educate because I strongly believe that teaching isn’t about how much we receive but it is all about how much we put into giving,” she said.  Teacher Clariz wanted to show her support to the student who strives hard to finish her studies despite the challenges of being a teenage mom. The family, friends, and netizens alike praised Teacher Clariz, saying that many would have misjudged and turned the student away as the baby would be a distraction in class. Teacher Clariz attributes Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan, her alma mater, for the formation she has undergone: “Xavier Ateneo molded me to become a better person whose heart is filled with God's love and live by God's words. The institution didn't just give me the answers to my long wonders but it taught me how to make decisions without sacrificing my faith even in the toughest of times.”  She graduated with a degree in BS Business Administration major in Business Economics in March 2019. “Xavier Ateneo pushed me beyond my limits that made me become an individual that can be a person for and with others. It served as my home and sanctuary that nurtured my growth. It helped me find God in all things, to love and understand people with their own tales,” she shared.  “It helped me embody the principle of cura personalis (care for the whole person) to love ourselves and others. It helped me realize the values behind the wise words nemo dat quod non habet (no one gives what they don't have).” Her story has helped spread awareness for being a good role model as a teacher.  “We, teachers have so much to offer, we can do more and more for others. God gave us different missions and I think it’s time for us to do our part,” Teacher Clariz said. “Being a teacher takes so much courage because we have to deal with different personalities but if we will take the situation as a reason to grow and serve others, we will soon realize that being a teacher is indeed a blessing.

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Ayala Coop kicks off “Be Juan Para Sa Kalusugan” program for zero hunger in Pampanga and Bataan

October 28, 2019

As part of its initiatives to promote health and wellness, the Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Ayala Coop) is launching “Be Juan Para sa Kalusugan,” which seeks to provide nutritious fortified rice meals for hundreds of children in Pampanga and Bataan. Ruel T. Maranan, President of Ayala Foundation and Vice Chairman of Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative The Ayala Coop, in partnership with Ayala Foundation, kicked off the project as a volunteerism activity for its members, who came together to pack fortified rice for distribution to children from seven barangays in San Fernando, Pampanga. The event was held on October 25 at the Laus Events Place in San Fernando, Pampanga. The fortified rice will help feed 490 Grades 3-6 children from seven barangays in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga and some 300 school children from Bagac Elementary School, in the province of Bataan over a period of six months. The health status of the beneficiaries will be monitored with the help of Rise Against Hunger Philippines, which will supervise the feeding together with school partners and monitor the health status of the children. Said Ruel Maranan, vice chair of the Ayala Coop and president of Ayala Foundation: “Ayala has long been committed to contributing to national development. Through our business and social development initiatives, we continue to address existing and emerging needs of Filipinos, while also helping improve the lives of people and communities. Be Juan Para sa Kalusugan signifies our recognition of an important concern in the country—health and nutrition. Investing in nutrition is one way of investing in our people and their future.” Also actively supporting are Ayala Employee Relations Network (Ayala ERNet) and the Ayala Business Club of Central Luzon.   About the Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative The Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative is one of the country’s top institution-based cooperatives, with total assets and members’ equity of more than PhP3 billion. It has a membership of over 37,000 nationwide, coming from over 121 Ayala companies.   About Ayala Foundation As the social development arm of the Ayala group of companies, Ayala Foundation envisions communities where people are creative, productive, self-reliant, and proud to be Filipino. Ayala Foundation's main program areas are Education, Community Leadership, Suitable and Sustainable Livelihood, and Arts and Culture. For more information, visit www.ayalafoundation.org.

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Three Xavier Ateneo Graduates Top Chemical Technician Exam

October 28, 2019

Known for its decades-long of academic excellence, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan has produced three topnotchers in the October 2019 Chemical Technician Licensure Exam (CTLE). Xavier Ateneo secured three spots in the top 10, with Dave N. Pangilinan at 5th place, Mathew B. Talipan at 7th, and Kimnard Joseph M. Duat at 10th. According to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Xavier Ateneo holds a passing rate of 85.71% for having 36 board passers out of 42 test takers. The PRC reported that 2,298 out of 2,834 takers (81.09%) passed the CTBE, which was administered last October 10. For the Chemist Licensure Exam (CLE), four out of eight Xavier Ateneo test takers passed the exam, namely, Ivy Jane Caranzo, Caryl Mae Dorothy Dablio, Dave N. Pangilinan, and Angelika Uy. Across the country, there were 1,085 takers of the CLE, but only 457 passed the exam. The PRC conducted the Chemist Licensure Exam in Manila, Cagayan de Oro, and Cebu on October 8 and 9. Xavier Ateneo President Fr. Roberto C. Yap SJ congratulated the new chemists and chemical technicians and wished them success in their future endeavors. He also recognized the hard work and perseverance of all Xavier Ateneans who took the CLE and CTLE. Yap extended his gratitude to the faculty members of the XU Department of Chemistry for their guidance and support to examinees. “We thank Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. Judy P. Sendaydiego, Chemistry Department Chairwoman Dr. Analyn C. Asok, the faculty and staff of the Department of Chemistry for the guidance and support they have given to our students,” Yap said. Xavier Ateneo is home to the country's academic achievers and next-generation leaders. Every year, the university is hailed as one of the top-performing schools in board exams. In 2019 alone, Xavier Ateneo has produced topnotchers and board passers in the fields of Nursing, Medicine, Accountancy, and Civil Engineering, among others. Xavier Ateneo commits to uplifting the lives of Kagay-anons by providing them with quality education that would enable them to contribute to Cagayan de Oro’s socioeconomic growth.

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Xavier Ateneo Students Win BPI-DOST Science Awards

October 28, 2019

Three students from Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan have been recognized in the 2019 BPI-DOST Science Awards for their scientific researches and innovations supporting the attainment of global sustainable development goals. Among the top 10 awardees with the most promising researches were Marc Anthony B. Reyes and Marvin Serge G. Fuentes, both BS Computer Science students from Xavier Ateneo. Now on its 30th years, the prestigious awards program honors young Filipino undergraduate students who excel in basic and applied science. It is a joint project of the Department of Science and Technology and BPI Foundation with the goal of empowering students who venture into innovative research. During the annual research competition, Reyes presented his study titled “A Mobile Application Using Convolutional Neural Networks for Detecting Rice Plant Diseases and Pests.” Reyes developed a mobile app called PalayLab, which uses deep learning to help farmers detect pests and diseases in rice plants. Fuentes, on the other hand, focused on “Developing a Rule-Based Chatbot to Classify the Severity of Depression Using Decision Trees.” Fuentes’s Atom chatbot uses a natural language processing engine to detect the level of depression of a person. Another entry from XavierAteneo that made it to the top 30 was the study conducted by BS Biology student Lloyd Alvin P. Caumban. His research, titled “Bioremediation Potential and Biomass Production of Indigenous Microalgae Consortia Cultured in Urban Wastewater,” centered on the use of microalgae in sequestering wastewater nutrients. Reyes and Fuentes each received P25, 000, a medal, and a certificate at the awards ceremony held at the Alphaland City Club in Makati City last August 2. Caumban took home P10, 000 and a medal. In her speech during the awarding, DOST-Science Education Institute Director Dr. Josette Biyo commended all participants, saying: “The works of our young scientists and engineers are truly worthy of recognition.” She also thanked BPI Foundation for “urging and inspiring students to excel in science and technology.” BPI Foundation Executive Director Maricris San Diego said that through the BPI-DOST Science Awards, they hope to “inspire more Filipino students to pursue scientific researches and innovations that contribute to building a stronger and more sustainable future for all of us.”

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AboitizPower solar and geo units earn, keep ISO certifications

October 24, 2019

The PHP3.7-billion facility in San Carlos City is AboitizPower’s first solar power project and its first venture on Negros Island. Today, the solar farm helps prevent the emission of more than 44,000 tons of carbon dioxide over 20 years, which is equivalent to taking around 10,000 cars off the road. AboitizPower subsidiary San Carlos Sun Power, Inc. (SacaSun) has earned certifications for its compliance to international standards in quality management, environmental management, as well as occupational health and safety management systems. This development came three years after SacaSun, the operator of the 59-MWp utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plant located in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental began supplying clean and renewable energy to the grid. SacaSun passed the external integrated management system (IMS) surveillance audit conducted by TUV Rheinland Philippines, Inc. on October 14 to 16, 2019. “The organization was able to materialize and continuously provide projects to the community as part of community service relations such as Brigada Eskwela, Community-based DRRM Training and Equipment Donation, and Back-to-School Support for Elementary Schools Project 2019,” Lionell Aala, auditor for SacaSun, said. Since 2016, SacaSun has been fulfilling its commitment to co-creating safe, empowered, and sustainable communities through its various corporate social responsibility programs, community sponsorships, and ER 1-94 projects. Meanwhile, AboitizPower’s geothermal unit AP Renewables, Inc. (APRI) maintained the validity of its certificates for ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) for its corporate center in Taguig City and its power facilities in MakBan, Laguna and Tiwi, Albay. The two power facilities also maintained their ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System (EMS) certificate and upgraded their Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) certificate to the latest version, which is ISO 45001:2018. All three sites registered zero non-conformity in the last four years. AP Renewables, Inc. (APRI), one of the leading geothermal energy producers in the country, delivers clean and renewable baseload power with the two facilities that it operates in Tiwi, Albay; Bay and Calauan, Laguna; and Sto. Tomas, Batangas. “By implementing IMS in our internal process, we are able to achieve operational and service excellence while providing consistent employee development, reducing occupational health and safety risks, and creating a conducive working environment for our people and partners,” said Alexander B. Coo, president and chief operating officer of AboitizPower’s geothermal and solar business units. TUV Rheinland Philippines lead auditor Eufronio Alonzo cited the internal IMS audit process of APRI as one of the best practices in the AboitizPower group. “Quarterly 5S audits also resulted in an excellent state of housekeeping at different sites,” he added. 5S is a system for organizing spaces so work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely.  TUV external auditors noted a total of 23 positive findings for both APRI and SacaSun, reinforcing the companies’ commitment to advancing business and communities.   *** About AboitizPower AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services. It advances business and communities by providing reliable and ample power supply at a reasonable and competitive price, and with the least adverse effects on the environment and host communities. The company is one of the largest power producers in the Philippines with a balanced portfolio of assets located across the country. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, its brand for clean and renewable energy with several hydroelectric, geothermal and solar power generation facilities. It also has thermal power plants in its generation portfolio to support the baseload and peak energy demands of the country. The company also owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, including the second and third largest private utilities in the country.    

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