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02 March 2015

History set in 2014. Youth Excellence in Science (YES) Awardees pose for a group photo after being conferred with the DOST Secretary’s Medal last February 25 at PICC in Pasay City. The Philippines had a historic 2014 in terms of netting medals in international science and mathematics competitions.

The Philippines continues to rise in international science and mathematics competitions as it bagged a historic 468 gold, silver and bronze medals in 2014, the most in history.

In the awarding ceremony of the Youth Excellence in Science (YES) Awards, the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) honored the elementary and high school students who have won gold, silver and bronze in international competitions held last year. The number topped the previous high of 447 recorded in 2013.

Two hundred forty-three (243) awardees from the National Capital Region and Region 3 attended the ceremony held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo expressed delight with the constant increase in the pour of medals from international contests and cited the improved quality of science and mathematics education as a factor in the said trend.

“Our rise in international science and mathematics competitions every year has been consistent with our improvement in terms of the quality of science and mathematics education reported in the Global Competitiveness Report,” said SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo.

One of the awardees flashes his YES medal together with SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo (right most), UP College of Science Dean and Mathematical Society of the Philippines’ President, Dr. Joey Balmaceda (middle), and S&T Manpower, Education, Research and Promotions Division Chief Ruby Cristobal (left most).

She said that from 115th in 2012-2013 and 96th in 2013-2014, the Philippines is now 70th out of 144 countries in terms of quality of science and math education.

The winning students were given recognition through the YES Award, a DOST institutional award for exemplary achievement of the youth in the fields of science and mathematics. It is in the form of a medal of distinction to be awarded by the DOST Secretary or the DOST Regional Director.

Philippine Science High School and Saint Jude Catholic School had the most number of medalists with 24 and 23, respectively.

In his message, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo congratulated the awardees and cheered them on in their continuous pursuit of excellence in science and mathematics.

“International competitions are only bridges that will lead you to something bigger. I believe that bigger things are in store for you once you enter the field of S&T,” said Montejo.

IMO silver medalist Adrian Reginald Sy of St. Jude Catholic School urges his fellow YES awardees to pay the country forward through continuing their excellence in mathematics.

International Mathematical Olympiad bronze medalist Adrian Reginald Sy of St. Jude Catholic School encouraged his fellow YES awardees to use their gifts in making the country better. Sy, the third IMO silver medalist for the Philippines, also challenged the succeeding generations of math wizards to go for the gold in the next IMO.

University of the Philippines Diliman College of Science Dean and Mathematical Society of the Philippines’ President, Dr. Jose Maria Balmaceda thanked the awardees for bringing pride to the country through their excellence. In his closing message, he reminded the awardees that excellence should not be just be an act but should be a habit. (30)