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RITM okays COVId-19 testing laboratory for Northern Mindanao Medical Center

May 18, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 15 May) — The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) has given the green light to the Northern Mindanao Medical  Center (NMMC) to start testing their medical laboratory for COVID-19.     Dr. Bernard Rocha, NMMC spokesperson, said  experts from RITM will arrive next week to evaluate the performance of their laboratory staff. “We secured our license just now and we are only waiting for the cartridges for the machine,” Rocha said, referring to the Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) machine, the gold standard for COVID-19 testing.     Rocha said their laboratory can operate for 12 hours and can process results up to 36 swab samples per day.     He said the results can be known in 30 to 45 minutes.     Rocha said there will be two medical equipment available to process the COVID-19 tests once the Department of Health regional office will finish the conversion of their tuberculosis testing laboratory.     The city government of Cagayan de Oro had also purchased three RT-PCR machines to augment the laboratory at the NMMC.     Once operational, the NMMC laboratory will be the first medical facility to process COVID-19 swab tests in Northern Mindanao.     At present, only the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City has the capability to process the swab specimens from Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 33 cities. (Froilan Gallaro / MindaNews)

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THE CAGAYAN DE ORO FILIPINO-CHINESE COMMUNITY

May 18, 2020

THE CAGAYAN DE ORO FILIPINO-CHINESE COMMUNITY turned over 500 sets COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits; 1,400 sets 4-layer Face Masks KN95; 2,500 sets 3-ply Non-woven Face Masks; and 200 bags of rice valued at P750, 000 to Mayor Oscar Moreno on May 16 as support for frontliners of the  Cagayan de Oro J R Borja General Hospital. (photo courtesy of Jeffrey Ang)

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75th Anniversary of Cagayan’s Liberation

May 10, 2020

    Unfortunately, due to restrictions enforced by the city government according to the IATF general community quarantine guidelines, no public ceremonies are still allowed to mark this milestone in our local history.     According to the account documented in “The History of the Mindanao Guerrillas” shared with us by the late president of the American Guerrillas of Mindanao (AGOM) Virginia Hansen Holmes, Cagayan, Misaims (as Cagayan de Oro was then known) was wrested by the US forces and guerrillas under the 10th Military District on 12 May 1945.     However, as early as May 9, 1945, operations were already underway for the liberation of the city.     Iponan-Cagayan Operation 9 May 1945   “Just before the landing of American forces in Mindanao on 10 May 1945, there were still Japanese pockets totaling about 300 men in the area west of the Cagayan River.” “In coordination with the plans of the American Forces, the guerrilla troops launched a general attack on these isolated Jap pockets with the end in view of driving the enemy from this area, occupy Cagayan proper, and afford protection to the right flank of the beachhead established by the American forces in the Bugo-Agusan area.” “Units participating in the operation were the 109th Infantry Regiment, composed of 39 officers and 350 enlisted men, and 120th Infantry Regiment, 108th Division, composed of one officer and 350 enlisted men. The 111th Infantry Regiment, 109th Division joined the operation on 10 May 1945. The attack began 9 May 1945 as planned and ended 12 May 1945.” Patag Airstrip Captured “The general offensive of Iponan, Bulua, Patag, Bonbon and Bayabas, started on 9 May 1945. On the same day, the enemies at Iponan were reinforced by approximately 100 Japs at 10:00 in the morning. The enemy reinforcements possibly came from Carmen or Calinogan.” “The enemy resisted the fight, but at 11:00 of the same day, the 1st Battalion of the108th Regiment under Capt Andres Bacal, captured the strip at Patag and the enemy was reported to have withdrawn to Carmen Hills. In the afternoon of the same day, the 120th Infantry Regiment was able to cross Iponan River as planned.”   Planes Strafe “Fighting continued at the Iponan River from early morning of 10 May 1945 till 10:00 AM. At 2:00 PM of the same day, the entire 120th Infantry Regiment was  moved out West of Iponan River, per instruction of higher headquarters, leaving the three battalions of the 109th Inf Regt across the river without support from the left rear of the enemy. CO of the 109th Inf Regt was odered to pull out his troops west of Iponan River and fighting continued.” “At the same date, at about 7:30 in the morning, American troops landed between Cagayan and Bugo. Planes were seen flying low strafing Patag strip. Instruction was received that the plans of the troops clearing the areas west of the Cagayan River still stood. So the CO, 109th Inf Regt was directed to move out immediately with Kauswagan and Carmen as the objectives. Fighting continued and at noon of 11 May 1945, our troops occupied Kauswagan and Carmen. The 111th Inf Regt met them in Carmen the same day.” “The Japanese numbered 300 at the west bank of the Cagayan River, stationed at Balulang, Carmen Hill, Carmen, Patag, Bulua, and Iponan. 200 of them immediately moved east of Cagayan River. They withdrew passing Balulang, Indahag, Kili-og, Libona and proceeding to Santa Fe.” “On 11 May 1945, the 109th Inf Regt was ordered to push toward west side of Cagayan road. Route of approach was made at three points: 2nd Battalion from beach to highway, 3rd Battalion and Combat Co. in National Highway, and 1st Battalion from highway to Patag.” “Movements started at 8:00 AM and with initial point at Iponan River. At 10:00 AM, the entire Regt was at its objective  - Cagayan River. The while west side of the Cagayan River bank was occupied by this Regt without opposition.” Cagayan Occupied “On 12 May 1945, this regiment was ordered to occupy Cagayan and at 9:00 in the morning of the same date, the109th Infantry Regiment (US Army) crossed Cagayan River in three points, namely: 2nd Battalion at Julao-Julao (present day Consolacion), 3rd Battalion at Jap wooden bridge, and the 1st Battalion at steel bridge (present day Ysalina Bridge at Carmen).” “The whole town was occupied at 9:30 AM on 12 May 1945.” “All ground defenses were established. The defenses were as follows: 2nd Battalion from Macabalan to Old Provincial Building to Ateneo; and the 1st Battalion with the Combat Co Attached from Ateneo to Macasandig to east bank of Cagayan River.” “Strongholds were made at Camaman-an and at Macasandig for a possible route of Jap counterattack. Mopping operation was ordered and after the search, Cagayan was declared clear from enemy occupants.” “The mission as stated in the first paragraph was completed successfully. The enemy casualties were undetermined, while on our side, one Cpl Bonifacio Jabonan was wounded. “ (Collated by Mike Baños) St Augustine Cathedral was bombed by the Americans during the battle to liberate Cagayan on May 9-12, 1945. The 1st Battalion of the108th Regiment under Capt Andres Bacal, captured the Patag Airstrip around noon of May 9, 1945. Sugar Mill at Lapad, Laguindingan. which served as a command pos for Maj. Angeles Limena (Ilogon Family Archives)  

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XU Contra COVID-19: Xavier Ateneo offers facilities as quarantine stations

May 10, 2020

SEARSOLIN In March 2020, Xavier University, in partnership with the Department of Health - X offered its SEARSOLIN facility inside the Manresa Compound as a quarantine facility for medical frontliners of Northern Mindanao Medical Center, the COVID-19 referral center for Region 10.     This was one of XU’s responses under #XUKontraCOVID19, especially on the needs of frontliners to undergo DOH’s mandatory quarantine after having served a seven-day period at the NMMC Hospital.      From March 17 until April 26, 100 frontliners have completed their required seven/14-day quarantine periods, depending on their degree of exposure.      XU through its SEARSOLIN facility continues to cater to frontliners for the purpose of containing and mitigating possible contaminations.     MANRESA TRAINING CENTER     Additionally, Xavier Ateneo recently inked a Memorandum of Agreement with the City Local Government for the use of three (3) dormitories at the Manresa Training Center as isolation/quarantine stations for Suspect and Probable COVID-19 cases within the City.      The City LGU anticipates a surge of people to be quarantined once the port and airport resume operations.      Medical experts for both quarantine facilities oversee the medical and health protocols to be observed in the daily operations.     Xavier Ateneo‘s #XUKontraCOVID19 institutional engagements continue to operate through the headship of Fr Roberto C Yap, SJ, the Chief of Mission, focusing on responding to the needs of frontliners and the vulnerable sectors in the City.

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Guerrilla Submarines in Northern Mindanao during World War II

May 10, 2020

(We are bringing back this story in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Cagayan, Misamis (now Cagayan de Oro) from the Japanese during World War II.)  During World War II, US Navy submarines helped supply Filipino and American guerrillas with arms, ammunition and supplies, also ferrying personnel in and out of the islands. Known as the SPYRON (for Spy Squadron) Operation, it supported the Filipino and American Guerrillas resistance to the Japanese occupation after the Philippines fell to the Japanese Imperial Forces in early 1942. The Spyron operation was key to the success of the resistance. Without the arms and supplies ferried by US submarines, the guerrillas would have been unable to sustain their intelligence gathering and sabotage operations against the Japanese forces. Even before Corregidor surrendered, submarines were already playing a key role in the Battle for the Philippines supplying arms and ammunition to the beleaguered island, and ferrying people in and out the war zone. The Quezon Mission Notable among these missions was the USS Swordfish (SS-193) under Lt. Cmdr. C.C. Smith which picked up President Manuel L. Quezon, his wife, two daughters, and son; Vice President Tomas Osmeña; Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos; and Philippine Army officers General Valdes, Colonel Nieto, and Chaplain Captain Ortiz from Corregidor on February 19, 1942.  Swordfish then departed via a safety lane through the minefield in the harbor and headed for San Jose on Panay Island, where she arrived on February 22nd, and transferred President Quezon and his party to a motor tender. Quezon and his family proceeded to Iloilo and were ferried to Oroquieta, Misamis Occidental by PT-41 of MTB Ron 3 skippered by Lt. John Bulkeley, who would later successfully transfer General Douglas MacArthur, his family and staff from Corregidor in their famous “Breakout” to Australia via Cagayan, Misamis and Bukidnon on March 11-13, 1942. Hence, they motored to Del Monte Airfield in Bukidnon where they were subsequently flown to Australia by B-17. (Source: John Clear's collection of more than 63,000 pages of U. S. submarine World War II patrol reports, compiled from original U. S. Government microfilms. Chick Parsons The man responsible for the SPYRON operations was U.S. Naval Commander Charles Parsons, Jr.  Better known by his nickname “Chick”, Parsons first came to Manila when he was five years old. When World War II broke out, he and his family managed to return to the USA under a diplomatic exchange. However, Chick volunteered to return to the Philippines  to organize secret submarine missions in support of the Philippine Guerrilla movement. His extensive knowledge of the country and his network of local contacts enabled him to communicate effectively with the guerrilla units. "Chick" initially worked out of the Allied Intelligence Bureau (AIB), and later moved to the Philippine Regional Section, but his own inner group which he commanded was known as "SPYRON" and was a very independent bunch of characters. Parsons' Navy boss was Capt. Arthur McCollum. SPYRON was essentially a warehousing operation used to accumulate equipment to be sent up by submarine to the Guerrillas in the Philippines. "Chick" worked in Heindorff House at 171 Queen Street, and lived in Lennon's Hotel in George Street in Brisbane. Capt. McCollum reported to Admiral James Fife. While this was his official chain of command Parsons also reported to Courtney Whitney, Lt. Gen. Richard Sutherland and General Douglas MacArthur / Parsons had joined MacArthur in January 1943. He convinced the Navy that if they lent MacArthur "Special Mission" submarines, the guerrillas would establish coast watcher radio stations throughout the islands which would supply numerous targets for their submarines.  Parsons sailed to the Philippines on eight occasions on board a submarine to supply Filipino guerrillas in enemy occupied Mindanao. Amongst the submarines used for these missions were USS Narwhal and USS Nautilus, the two biggest submarines in the US Navy at the time each of which could carry up to 100 tons of supplies compared to 30 tons for the usual fleet submarines. By 1944, his notoriety had grown so much Japanese authorities in Tokyo offered a "$50,000 Dead or Alive" reward for Parsons.  But the effect of the Spyron missions to the guerrillas and civil populace was electric. “The effect upon the guerrillas (also upon the civilians) was miraculous,” Parsons wrote in a letter to the Philippine president-in-exile, Manuel L. Quezón. “It was touching to observe the gratitude of the men for the supplies. It showed them they were not abandoned, that their efforts were known to and appreciated by General MacArthur—it gave them new life.” According to Captain Bobb Glenn, Chief Supply Officer for the AIB who was deeply involved in supplying the  guerrillas in the Philippines, once Col. Courtney Whitney (Sectional Officer, AIB) arrived in GHQ, the AIB was more or less out of the picture as the Philippine Regional Section was more favored by MacArthur for his special missions and the Philippine resupply effort. (source: https://www.ozatwar.com/sigint/prs.htm) Spyron in Northern Mindanao The first Spyron operation in Northern Mindanao and seventh Spyron mission overall,  involved the Bowfin (SS-287) under Cmdr. J. H. Willingham on Sept. 3, 1943 when it embarked nine persons and  delivered seven tons of radio equipment and supplies at Iligan Bay, 1 ¼ mile east of Binuni Point (off present day Bacolod, Lanao del Norte). Four weeks later on Sept. 29, 1943, at the same location, Bowfin evacuated nine guerrillas, selected by their superior officers, to be transported to Australia. Among them were Luis Morgan, executive officer of Col. Wendell Fertig, who headed the organized Filipino-American Resistance in Mindanao ; Edward M. Kuder, a well-known superintendent of schools in Mindanao and Samuel C. Grashio, a U.S. Army Air Corps fighter pilot prior to his capture on Bataan. Grashio had survived the infamous 'Death March' to be confined in three different Japanese prison camps before finally escaping from the Davao Penal Colony with a group of 10 POWs and two Philippine convicts and then joining the guerrillas. The Narwhal cometh But perhaps the most famous submarine to figure in Spyron operations in Northern Mindanao was the USS Narwhal (SS-167), the lead ship of her class of submarine and one of the "V-boats", the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the narwhal. She was named V-5 (SC-1) when her keel was laid down on 10 May 1927 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine. At 371 feet long and with a displacement of 4,000 tons submerged, Narwhal was one of the biggest US Navy submarines during WW2, but was not really suited for attack, thus was assigned to transport supplies and personnel to guerrillas in the Philippines especially, eventually became the leading submarine in supporting the Philippine guerrillas with nine secret transport missions to her credit, five of which were conducted in the Caraga and Northern Mindanao regions.  First Mission to Nasipit On her seventh war patrol and ninth Spyron mission, Narwhal skippered by Lt. Cmdr. Frank D. Latta, entered Butuan Bay submerged at 0508 hrs on November 15, 1943. At 1605 hours, she sighted a launch flying the proper security signal. She surfaced and Colonel Wendell W. Fertig, commander of the United States Forces in the Philippines (USFIP) and head of the organized resistance in Mindanao, came aboard. Narwhal then proceeded to Nasipit Harbor. On her way in she ran aground on hard sand in the channel's west bank, but managed to free herself quickly. At 1746 hours, Narwhal moored starboard side at the Nasipit dock as a Filipino band played “Anchors Away.” At 2330 hours, she completed offloading 46 tons of supplies. Early the next day, she embarked 32 evacuees, including POW escapees Shofner, Hawkins and Dobervich, women, two children, and one baby, and got underway. Spyron Operations Chief Lt. Cmdr. Chick Parsons left Narwhal with the harbor pilot. Remarks the Narwhal's patrol report: "The very real need for any kind of stores in guerrilla occupied areas led us to transfer considerably more stores than were actually consigned as cargo. Additional arms and ammunition as well as foodstuffs were transferred to Col. [Wendell] Fertig. An eyewitness account of this story is told in the book “My Faraway Home” by Mary Mackay Maynard, who was one of the two children evacuated. It is also related in John Keat’s book “They Fought Alone” which relates the guerrilla war in Mindanao under Fertig who was on hand to meet the submarine.  Seventeen days later, on Dec. 2, 1943,  Narwhal entered Butuan Bay and surfaced at 1706 hours, some 1,000 yards off Cabadbaran. Shortly thereafter, a 150-ton barge came alongside. Fertig and Parsons came aboard.  Narwhal embarked seven evacuees - two soldiers, three civilian men, one woman, and one eight-year-old girl. She unloaded 92 tons of supplies, 300 gallons of lube oil, a small amount of hand tools, received three messages regarding the next phase of her mission, and used the portable radio station on the barge to send three messages. At 2205 hours, she got underway with Parsons aboard.   The Alubijid Mission  Narwhal then proceeded to Alubijid, Misamis Oriental on December 5, 1943 to pick up nine evacuees. The ship’s log dated December 5, 1943 War Patrol No. 8 Alubijid (a microfilm of the actual entry in the ship’s log) shows details of its rendezvous:  0148 hours, she sighted the proper security signal at Alubijid, Majacalar Bay. 2nd Lt Noble, PA, came aboard to verify Narwhal was there to embark evacuees, then returned to shore. One boat load came alongside carrying the DeVries family. Other boats followed sometime later.  Relatives of the Filipino guerrillas and residents who helped unload Narwhal recalled the tales told to them by their forebears of that memorable event. Frank Galarrita relates how one of the teams that unloaded arms from the sub were his two grandfathers, the father of Virgilio Galarrita, and  Ismael Labis, the Vice Mayor of Alubijid at that time, who was accompanied by his two teen-aged daughters. “I think Lt. Noble was from Cebu,” he recalls. “They pronounced Noble as Noob-lee not in English as Noobol.” “My aunt told me that they brought the precious goods to Barangay Lourdes, thereafter, probably some went to Bukidnon. But Barangay Lourdes at that time was still a town of Bukidnon,.” “So that was the name of the submarine that quietly docked in Moog to unload supplies for the Filipino guerillas,” recalls Virgilio Galarrita. “My father was one of those civilians recruited to carry all kinds of supplies from the sub.” “He said there were all kinds and sizes of boxes to be carried. He said he regretted to have volunteered to carry a small box not knowing that it was heavy since it was one of the ammo boxes. He said he should have picked one of those big wooden boxes carried by two people and happened to be lighter since they were boxes of biscuits and cookies.” “After that there were stories that went around that some of those volunteers ate some of those biscuits and cookies, others took some home to their families, after they cracked open the box. Mga abtik gyud kining uban nga mga Alubijidnon!” “My grandfather Manuel Gapuz was one of them, I think,” said Manuel Abellanosa. “They used a gas lantern (known locally as Petromax) covered with a big tin can (taro) with a hole to communicate with the submarine at night via Morse Code. Supplies, guns and ammo were carried through a "back trail" up to Bukidnon. They would pass by Lunsi where Lola Doding, Mommy Ellen, Uncle Fred evacuated.” Former Misamis Oriental Board Member Cromwell Galarrita Generalao shared his stories: “The US submarine that docked in Moog, Alubijid in 1943 was among the many popular stories of the war in Alubijid. Unfortunately we have no documents, letters or records of the event. My father, Arturo Jamis Generalao, tirelessly and fondly told stories of the war, among which was a US submarine that docked in Moog.” “The US submarine brought modern firearms and supplies for the Philippine Army and the local guerrillas. My father recalled that one evening, while at Guinotang, Alubijid, about 2 kilometers from the Poblacion where his family had a small farm, he noticed that some guerrillas, many of them his relatives, were walking briskly towards the Poblacion, Alubijid.” “The guerrillas commandeered some carabaos. As a curious teenager and fascinated by the actions of war, he followed the guerrillas. On their way, he heard the guerrillas talking about receiving modern firearms from a US ship at Moog.” “When he heard of a US ship at Moog, my father said he was very excited to follow the guerrillas, with the intention of boarding the US ship and go to the US. From Poblacion, the troops proceeded towards, Lanao, Molocboloc and finally Moog.” “At Moog shore, he saw Philippine Army soldiers on the shore. He thought they were from the Philippine Army Camp at Kalabaylabay, El Salvador. The Army soldiers had a Petromax.” “My father said he was so amazed at the sight of the US submarine that looked different from a ship. He tried to join the line of the guerrillas, pretending to help carry the firearms and supplies to shore, but actually intended to board the submarine and stow away. But the US sailors only allowed Filipino Army soldiers to board the submarine to haul the firearms and supplies.” “The guerrillas stayed at the shore to receive the firearms and supplies and tied them to the carabaos. The firearms and supplies loaded on the carabaos were brought towards Lourdes, Alubijid.” “The sight of the submarine for the first time and the new modern firearms with lots of ammunition fascinated my father, Philippine Army soldiers and the guerrillas. He identified the firearms as: Garand Rifles, Thompson Submachine guns, M-1 Carbine Rifles, and Browning Automatic Rifles.” Narwhal embarked two men, three women, and four children then stood out of Majacalar Bay at 0446 hours. Back to Cabadbaran On March 3, 1944 Narwhal was back in Cabadbaran to deliver 70 tons of supplies but had to abort the mission when 3 IJN destroyers approached. She was able to meet with Capt. Hamner and pick up 9 evacuees including Hamner.  At 1000 hours, on March 2nd, the proper security signal was spotted on the beach at Cabadbaran. She surfaced and a boat came alongside. Three representatives of Fertig came aboard. They said Fertig was waiting at the Agusan River mouth because it was too difficult to tow their barge into the bay. Latta brought Narwhal as near to the river shoal as he dared and then laid to.  Narwhal's crew began rigging their two launches topside for delivery to Fertig. Fertig came aboard and asked Latta to move up the channel to the barge and to delay unloading until the next day. But Latta refused both requests. Instead, he sent one of Narwhal's launches to have the barge towed alongside. By 0210 hours on March 3rd, seventy tons of cargo was unloaded and two 26-foot whale boats were delivered to Fertig. Narwhal also embarked twenty service men and eight civilians, including two women. At 0229 hours, Narwhal stood out of Butuan Bay. Last Mission to Balingasag On Sept 27, 1944 Narwhal was back under Cmdr. Jack C. Titus (who took command starting with her 11th War Patrol) in Northern Mindanao, to deliver 3 men and 20 tons of supplies to Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, This later proved to be the last Spyron mission to Northern Mindanao.  Narwhal surfaced on the night of Sept. 27, 1944 and sighted the proper signal from the shore of Balingasag. Some 45 minutes later, a heavy rain obscured all land and at 1744 hrs a small boat with a US Ensign was sighted. All cargo was unloaded by 2100 in spite of the bad weather and at 2103, Narwhal commenced clearing the coast.   By Sept. 28 she left the Mindanao Sea for Siari Bay where she embarked 31 liberated POWS. The prisoners had been aboard Japanese transports sunk by Paddle (SS-263) off Sindagan Point on September 6.  In October 20, 1944 MacArthur fulfilled his vow to return to the Philippines with the invasion of Leyte and mopping up operations of isolated pockets of Japanese resistance started on April 17, 1945  The last Spyron mission was conducted by Nautilus on January 3, 1945 at Baculin Bay, Davao Oriental, to offload 45 tons of supplies which were received by 2nd Lt. N. Artero in behalf of Fertig.  On August 15, 1945 Japan surrendered to the Allied forces in Tokyo Bay. (Photos courtesy of ozatwar.com & MacArthur Memorial) Map of Iligan Bay showing Binuni Point off Bacolod, present day Lanao del Norte (courtesy of Nole C. Nusog) 

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Working FASSSTER than COVID-19: The people behind the technology

May 10, 2020

Ateneo de Manila University’s Center for Computing Competency and Research (ACCCRe)  has updated  the Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-temporal Epidemiological Modeler ( FASSSTER) as an evidence-based tool to mitigate potential risks brought by COVID-19 and maximize the allocation of healthcare resources.     With the recalibration, the DoH, local government units (LGUs) and other healthcare facilities can now project the estimated number of COVID-19 cases in specific areas for a specific period.     “In development since 2016, FASSSTER is a product of rigorous studies based on credible and updated data. Long before COVID19, this tool was already used in the surveillance of Dengue, Measles, and Typhoid,” said  DOST-PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya      From 2016 to 2019, FASSSTER was deployed in 17 Rural Health Units (RHUs) across the country to  visualize disease models and generate syndromic surveillance reports during public health crises.      Specifically, FASSSTER connects syndromic surveillance and event surveillance from the field to electronic medical records, and uses health information to update initial disease models to provide a visualization tool for evidence-based and data driven decision making.      FASSSTER and its recalibration for COVID-19 has been made possible through the efforts of several teams in ADMU : the Data Science and Computational Modelling Team, Mathematical Modelling Team, Data Management Team, Data Warehouse Team, Systems Development Team, and the Public Health Team, each of which is heded by the following notable professors and scientists:  Dr. Maria Regina E. Estuar, Team Leader for FASSSTER and the Data Science and Computational Modelling Team. A professor at the Department of Information Systems and Computer Science at ADMU.she also serves as Executive Director of the Ateneo Center for Computing Competency and Research (ACCCRE) and is the founder of the Ateneo Social Computing Science Laboratory.  In 2019, she was cited as one of the Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service Award for Science and Technology from TOWNS for her significant contributions in strengthening the country’s S&T capacity. Dr. Elvira de Lara-Tuprio, an expert in disease modeling through differential equations and financial mathematics, with focus on financial derivatives and risk management. Besides heading FASSSTER’s Mathematical Modelling Team, she is an Associate Professor ADMU’s Mathematics Department.  Dr. Marlene M. De Leon, Team Leader, FASSSTER Data Management Team, is is an Associate Professor of the ADMU Department of Information Systems and Computer Science and manages the university’s Quality Assurance of Data and Information at the University.  Dr. Raymond Francis R. Sarmiento, Team Leader, FASSSTERData Warehouse Team Currently, is the Director of the National Telehealth Center of the UP National Institutes of Health (UPNIH). He is a DOST Balik Scientist who specializes in clinical and public health informatics and health data science, among others. In 2019, he was recognized as an Outstanding Young Scientist in public health informatics by the National Academy of Science and Technology.  Mr. Christian Pulmano, Team Leader, FASSSTERSystems Development Team, works  full-time with the ADMU Dept. of Information Systems & Computer Science. He also  heads the Ateneo Block Chain Laboratory (formerly AMBERLab) which received the Recognition of Excellence Award by OpenGov Asia in 2019. He is co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of BluEHR, a spin-off product from ACCCRe. Dr. Norbie Mendoza, Team Leader, Epidemiology and Public Health Team, he specializes in the field of health and medical informatics.  The development of FASSSTER is part of the DOST-PCHRD’s projects under the Information and Communications Technology in Health priority area which aims to advance the country’s telehealth services and systems and public health surveillance, among others. The recalibration of FASSSTER was undertaken  in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Manila - National Telehealth Center (UP-NTHC), the Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau and the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).    Committed to making lives better for the Filipino, DOST-PCHRD supports the development of health and health-related research projects outlined by the DOST’s Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda (HNRDA) and the National Unified Health Research and Development Agenda (NUHRA). (PCHRD S&T Media Service) Mr. Christian Pulmano Dr Norbie Mendoza

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