INNOVATION, science, and technology are some of the things we look into to see progress in the society.
If we go through the history books, it is the humans' continuous search for answers that led them to study and research different fields.
Since 2011, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been conducting the Regional Invention Competition and Exhibit (Rice) every other year in all regions in the country, encouraging both public and private sector inventors and researchers to showcase their inventive capabilities, ingenuity, and creativity.
In Davao Region, Rice 2017 took place last July 6 in NCCC Mall Activity Area with the theme "Science for People." Among the 42 participants from different high schools and colleges in the region, including those professional inventors, only three were chosen to represent Davao Region for the National Invention Competition and Exhibit (Nice) next year in Metro Manila.
The competition was divided into two categories; the Adult Creative Research (Likha Award) and Student Creative Research (Sibol Award) for High School and College.
Aezer Cajegas, owner of the Hydrophilia Technologies Incorporated, will be representing Davao Region on the Adult Creative Research for his research on Alcasol Pure Antibacterial and Antifungal Disinfectant.
His invention is on the control and eradication of Banana plantation diseases such as Panama, Moko, and Sigatoka, specializing Banana bunch spray against fungus bacteria and insects.
What separates his invention from other banana antifungal disinfectant, Cajegas said, is that it is made from 100 percent organic material that can also be used as a foliar fertilizer for soil preparation.
"I am happy that my invention won for this year's Rice because this is really helpful for our farmers in treating banana diseases. My banana disinfectant is cheaper than others because the material is not synthetic," Cajegas said.
He added that his invention has laboratory results and is being used as a trial product in a banana plantation in some parts of Mindanao that have contributed to his championship in the regional level.
For College Student Creative Research category, Charles Abella, Carlo Lagura, and Bernard Ranola from University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) will be representing Davao Region for their research on TAMLA: A Mobile App fro Crime Scene Fingerprint Matching with Latent Search Capability.
Their invention is bringing biometrics into a mobile app for easy access and fast processing of results especially for crime laboratory operations, pushing to develop a system that automatically identify information of a person, alive or dead, who have undergone fingerprint identification process.
"This is will be helpful in the community as our application will provide through fast identification processes especially during crime scenes," Lagura said.
Further research, Lagura said, will be done by their team regarding their invention as a preparation for NICE 2018.
Also, the Philippine Science High School-Southern Mindanao Campus students, Felix Arthur Diosos and Coleen Quirim, will be representing Davao Region for the High School Student Creative Research category for the Pectin-carboxymethylcellulose Biocapsule for Potential Colon Targeted Oral Drug Delivery.
The solo and school winners received P10,000 prize and gift certificates. DOST-Davao Region will also be covering plane tickets and accommodations for their national competition next year.
Aside from the winning entries, SunStar Davao also took notice of other standout researches and innovations of other participating students.
These include Davao City National High School's (DCNHS) Eirene Junvel Alvaira's study on the Anti-mitotic potential of fiddlehead fern (pako) ethanolic extract as a prototype of cancer drug development; the detection of carbon monoxide emission level in Davao City using Arduino Micro controller and Android mobile device by Leandro Ramirez Jr., Jared A. Guting, and Kharl Marx Adorado of DCNHS; the reduction of Coliforms and E. coli using saluyot leaves as flocculant in Turbid Davao River Water by Daniel Dave Gomez, Mereanne Lily Baldoza, Jedidiah Beatrix Pasco of DCNHS; and the viability of coconut milk in organic plastic production by Kyle Raven Ramiso of Sawata National High School (SNHS) in San Isidro, Davao del Norte.
Alvaira, who dreams to become a neurosurgeon someday, said she wanted to do a study revolving cancer drug development since cancer has become a major concern in the public. Her study aims to determine the effectiveness of pako as an anti-mitotic agent.
"The pako has a lot of phytochemicals and anti-oxidants that could inhibit the growth of the cells," she said, adding that she also decided to look into the pako because the plant is quite common in Davao City.
Meanwhile, Ramirez, Guting, and Adorado, developed a device that will sense the carbon monoxide levels in the surrounding area. The data gathered by the device will be transmitted to an Android mobile device where, through a mobile app, the user can see the readings.
The three young men found inspiration from the Roxas Night Market.
Ramirez said they take their ride home from Roxas daily and while they wait for their ride they noticed how smoky the night market is.
Ramirez said the study, if further developed, can also be used for the implementation and regulation policies of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Climate Change Commission.
Gomez and his team's study, meanwhile, focused on the use of saluyot in clarifying turbid river water that can be used in basc household chores. The study also aims to provide a solution to affected remote areas that are in need of clean usable water.
Their study found the effectivity of the saluyot leaves to clarify turbid river water based on the experimented they conducted on untreated and treated water samples.
Lastly, Ramiso's study found out that coconut milk is a viable material for plastics production since the properties of the products of the study are comparable to that of synthetic plastics.
DOST-Davao Region Assistant Director Elsie Mae Solidum, in an interview, said Rice 2017 was an exciting batch of young and professional inventors, highlighting the importance of producing new ideas and inventions that are not only useful to the society but also possess commercial viability.
"Through competitions like this, the Science and Technology sector in the country hopes to gain more support from the government especially in terms of funding the department," Solidum said.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on July 10, 2017.
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