Nueva Ecija students to represent Philippines in ASEAN Data Explorers science competition

October 1, 2020 - 2:25 PM
This file photo shows flags of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. (

Students from Nueva Ecija will represent the Philippines at an international science competition in November, the ASEAN Foundation announced.

The ASEAN Foundation is an organization established by leaders or members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 1997 to reinforce the goals of the international body to the people within the region.

It partnered with SAP, a software solutions company, to launch a regional program called ASEAN Data Science Explorers that seeks to catalyze activism and critical thinking among university students in ASEAN.

In its first National Finals held virtually, Team Incognito comprising students Jairus Cairo Libunao and Alleah Eunice Tuliao from the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology won first place for their project that focused on waste management.

The event was live-streamed on Facebook that attracted more than 2,300 viewers.

There are two runner-up teams, who are:

  • Team Gugma, comprising Kyle Anne Villariza and Genesis Daquinan from the University of the Philippines—Visayas for their project designed to tackle the overexploitation issue of the ASEAN fisheries
  • Team Board Men, comprising Gabriel Carlo Gamulo and John Michel Lee from Ateneo de Manila University for their project on Neural Community

ASEAN DSE stated that the three teams were judged based on the following criteria: creativity, feasibility, innovation, and the team’s ability to demonstrate the solution’s implementation.

Their concepts also tackled socio-economic issues that member-states of ASEAN face, which were driven by data insights.

Despite the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, a total of 852 students across Southeast Asia competed in the national finals of their respective countries with 4,563 students and lecturers trained in SAP Analytics Cloud in 2020.

In a statement, the winning team from Nueva Ecija recalled that they came up with the project after noticing the country’s current problem in waste management.

“We came up with a storyboard on waste management because we noticed that there’s a loophole in our current waste management system. We thought that if we don’t do any actions about this now, it will continue to cause fatal consequences to us and the environment,” Team Incognito said.

Being national winners also felt surreal, the team said, and described the competition as “nerve-wracking.”

“Our journey in this competition was beyond our expectation! Until now, the thought of being the national winner hasn’t sunk in yet. Going into the national finals was really nerve-wracking and, at the same time, exciting! We remember the challenges we had to face in joining this competition,” the group said.

Paul Anthony Pangilinan of the National Youth Commission expressed hopes that the participants could also contribute in helping the country and the rest of world recover from the pandemic.

“Now more than ever, we need the youth’s creativity and innovativeness in finding solutions and ways to solve emerging problems that our region and the world are facing. Their participation is paramount especially in our recovery from this pandemic and in pushing forward our collective vision of a more resilient and sustainable future for all,” Pangilinan said.

After their victory at the national level, Team Incognito will compete against finalists from the ASEAN region.