Press Release
March 22, 2023

Senate adopts resolutions commending two universities

The Senate on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 adopted two resolutions commending and congratulating the Batangas State University (BatStateU) engineering students for being the champion in the Engineering Innovation Challenge (EIC) 2022 held in Singapore, and the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) for its exemplary performance in winning the World University Debating Championship 2023 held in Madrid, Spain.

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva sponsored Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 325, taking into consideration SRNs 331 and 377; and SRN 404, taking into consideration SRNs 405, 406, 412, 416, 417, and 438 commending both BatStateU and ADMU.

"Today, I am deeply honored to sponsor Senate Resolution No. 325 commending the team of engineering students from Batangas State University, and Senate Resolution No 404 commending the Ateneo de Manila University Debate Society members," Villanueva said.

"The BatStateU team will continue to work on their prototype for its possible introduction to the market. When this happens, it will be a game-changer as it will vastly contribute to sustainability and agricultural modernization, and even promote home urban farming," he added.

The BatStateU team included Marc James M. Beltran, John Vincent D. Biscocho, Lawrence M. De Castro, Maria Nelly S. Magboo, and Jerico D. Matibag and were mentored by Dr. Alvin S. Alon, head of the university's Digital Transformation Center.

Their winning innovation project called AI-Aquaphonics-360 used the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence (Al) in an intelligent small-scale aquaponics system. This system is used to monitor and control aquaponics parameters, as well as its botanical and zoological components, and is innovatively designed for food sustainability and security through home urban farming.

The EIC is an annual competition organized by the Institution of Engineers-Singapore and Science Centre Singapore with the support of the country's Ministry of Education. It aims to provide students from different levels of education a better understanding of the important role of engineering in energy innovation and an opportunity to work with professional engineering and business mentors to design or invent a product.

The competition commenced in September 2022 and culminated with a demo and awards presentation during the celebration of Singapore's National Engineering Day on November 19, 2022.

Meanwhile, on December 27, 2022 to January 3, 2023, the World Universities Debating Championship 2023 was held in Madrid, Spain which was participated in by more than 260 debate teams from all over the globe. The World Universities Debating Championship is considered as the world's largest debate tournament.

The ADMU team, composed of BS Applied Mathematics students David Africa and Toby Leung, bested students from Harvard University, National University of Singapore, Stanford University, London School of Economics, University of Sydney, Brown University, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Chulalongkom University, Vanderbilt University, and University of New South Wales in the elimination, octo finals, quarter finals, and semi-finals rounds.

The ADMU emerged victorious as they bested students from other countries including Bulgaria's Sofia University, Israel's Tel Aviv University, and United States of America's Princeton University in the finals. In addition to the championship, Toby Leung was named 2nd best speaker, while David Africa was ranked 8th best speaker.

"These achievements bring great pride and joy to our country by prominently raising the Philippine flag in the realm of international intellectual debate, and by highlighting the capabilities of Filipinos globally and internationally as among the world's best," the resolution stated.

"ADMU truly affirmed itself as one of the country's top universities and as an institution that hones and produces globally competitive individuals," it added.

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