IPA Recipients for January 2020

Josefina T. Dizon
Institute for Governance and Rural Development
College of Public Affairs and Development
UP Los Baños

Water Governance Framework in Sta. Cruz River Watershed, Laguna, Philippines, Journal of Environmental Science and Management, 22(1): 54-66, 2019

One of the farmers drying palay on the road

Deforestation due to illegal cutting, charcoal making, quarrying, mining, and destructive farming practices resulted to insufficient water supply for irrigation in the Sta. Cruz River Watershed. Since the National Irrigation Administration has transferred to the Irrigators’ Association (IA) the ownership of the irrigation system, the model proposes that the IA plays a central role in the management of the irrigation system. Thus, its leadership, capability, participation and its existing water policies are important inputs into the governance framework. Leadership is important because it is an administrative function of the IA to influence its membership towards achieving their goal. Capacity building is the process of changing attitudes and behaviors and imparting knowledge and skills. Participation, meanwhile, which is the process whereby people find ways to meet collective needs and overcome common problems to attain efficiency, effectiveness, self-reliance, coverage and sustainability, is important in addressing the hindering factors to attain sustainability of irrigation water. In the system, however, a number of factors impinge upon the IA and these include the economics (irrigation efficiency and economic efficiency), social (water allocation), political (accountability and transparency) and administrative systems (regulations, water resources management and distribution, and decision-making). Thus, the model espouses that to achieve good governance which is imperative to achieve water security, and finally rice security, these different factors should be considered. The model below summarizes the proposed governance framework.

Significance:
Through irrigation, agriculture withdraws water accounting for 70% of water withdrawals and uses 90% of the water consumption in the world (FAO 2011) and 95% in developing countries (Podimata and Yannopoulos 2015). Since the country’s major water user is the agriculture sector, there is a need to develop a framework for water governance since it involves many institutions and it is quite complex. The Global Water Partnership defines water governance as “the range of political, social, economic and administrative systems that are in place to develop and manage water resources, and the delivery of water services at different levels of society”. However, Birongo and Le (2005) and Rogers and Hall (2003) stressed that there is no single model of effective water governance. The challenges confronting water governance requires a holistic approach of determining the different factors affecting its achievement. This research identified the hindering factors in the sustainability of irrigation water and determined the interaction between the different actors to develop a water governance framework using the case of the Sta. Cruz River Watershed. This research addresses the concerns of water scholars and policy makers regarding the need to develop a water governance model.

Link to the article: https://ovcre.uplb.edu.ph/journals-uplb/index.php/JESAM/article/view/86
Impact factor:(2018/2019) 0.266


Hazel Joyce M. Ramirez
Rural High School
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Co-creating Scripts in Computer-supported Collaborative Learning and its Effects on Students’ Logical Thinking in Earth Science, Interactive Learning Environments, https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2019.1702063, 2019

Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is a technology-driven inquiry-based approach that encourages social interaction and shared knowledge construction in completing computer-aided tasks. Although there were researches carried out on CSCL, no research to date has extensively examined how CSCL enhanced with scripts containing student-generated questions that can facilitate the development of logical thinking, an essential skill to effectively comprehend science concepts. In this light, this research examined the effects of co-creating scripts in CSCL on students’ logical thinking. This utilized a three-group pretest- posttest quasi-experimental design with two delayed posttests that involved Grade 7 students. One group was exposed to CSCL with scripting while the other group was exposed to CSCL without scripting. On the other hand, the control group was exposed to a conventional teaching approach. Findings revealed that CSCL approaches significantly improved students’ logical thinking, F(2, 113) = 5.616, p = .0025. Further, the delayed posttests consistently showed that CSCL with scripting significantly influenced the development of logical thinking. Notably, this research builds and extends on previous researches regarding the synergistic scaffolding of the inquiry-based approach, technology integration, collaborative learning, and question-asking activity. This innovation catalyzed learning and offered essential implications that provided opportunities for future research directions.

Significance:
The research offers a synergistic approach that merges contextualized learning material and 21st century learning competencies. The research evaluated the effectiveness of the use of a DOST science courseware in a computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) approach through scripting activity. Its findings are useful on a national scale since the courseware is being used by numerous schools in the Philippines. The research provides valuable information which is not only beneficial towards its improvement, but also on how technology and collaborative inquiry can be effectively integrated towards a transformative learning process. Furthermore, the study pioneered research on DOST science courseware since all existing researches have focused on math courseware. Additionally, this research contributes to extensively examine how CSCL can be reinforced by student-generated questions to enhance logical thinking which is a necessary skill to comprehend and apply science concepts.

Link to the article: https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2019.1702063
Impact factor:(2018/2019) 1.929


Reginald Christian S. Bernardo1and Michael Francis Ian S. Vega II1
1National Institute of Physics, College of Science (UP Diliman)

Tailoring Cosmologies in Cubic Shift-symmetric Horndeski Gravity, Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, doi: 10.1088/1475-7516/2019/10/058, 2019

Figure 1: Scale factor, a(t), predicted by general relativity with a radiation-baryon-vacuum fluid mixture. After the hot big bang at t = 0, the universe has been through the radiation and matter eras. Today, marked t = 1, we live in a universe dominated by an exotic fluid “dark energy” with negative pressure, thus, causing the cosmic expansion to accelerate.

Figure 2: The dark energy equation of state, wφ, as predicted by cubic Horndeski theory with the same expansion history as ΛCDM but sourced only by a single cosmic fluid (radiation, w = 1/3; baryon, w = 0; vacuum, w = – 1). Cosmological data pin down the dark energy equation of state, wφ, close to -1 today (t = 1).

The standard model of cosmology, known as the “ΛCDM model” is the best existing theory of the observable Universe. It beautifully supports the observed late-time cosmic inflation and the formation of galaxies and makes the most exciting predictions such as gravitational waves generated during the hot big bang. However, ΛCDM model brings with it the inevitable conclusion that ninety-five percent of the Universe is made up of invisible exotic fluid. Also, the observed cosmological constant Λ, ΛCDM model’s stand in explaining “dark energy”, clashes with its theoretically predicted quantum-fluctuations value by a colossal fifty orders of magnitude. This cosmological puzzle, among others, makes room for the enthusiastic set of contenders, generically called “alternative theories of gravity”, to challenge the general theory of relativity on which ΛCDM model is strongly anchored. In the paper “Tailoring cosmologies in cubic shift-symmetric Horndeski gravity” we show how to link a dynamical universe’s expansion to alternative theories known as cubic Horndeski gravity. This cosmology-designing algorithm tunes away dark energy by relieving its connection with the cosmological constant. Most importantly, this work can be used to narrow down the space of viable alternative theories of gravity to cubic Horndeski theory provided expansion history data.

Significance:
“Dark energy”, the invisible exotic fluid which permeates most of the Universe, can be explained by introducing the cosmological constant Λ into the Einstein field equations of general relativity. This approach, however, glances over the colossal fifty orders of magnitude-disagreement between the observed cosmological constant and its theoretically predicted quantum-fluctuations value. Scalar-tensor theories relieve this tension by associating dark energy with a gravitational scalar field. In this work, we have explicitly shown how to link expansion histories, such as the dark energy-sourced inflation, to scalar-tensor theories known as cubic Horndeski gravity. This result can be used to pin down the effective field theory of gravity to a unique cubic Horndeski theory provided expansion history data.

Link to the article: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1475-7516/2019/10/058
Impact factor: (2018/2019) 5.524


Rosalie C. Mendoza1, Vivian C. Daracan1, Ronniel D. Manalo1, Chelle Hennessy R. Batallones1, Arlene D. Romano1 and Willie P. Abasolo1
1Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics, College of Arts and Sciences (UP Los Baños)

Anatomical and Physico-mechanical Characterization of Narra (Pterocarpus indicus Willd.) Branchwood Collected in Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, Laguna, Philippines, Philippine Journal of Science, 148(4): 705-713, 2019

Fig. 1. Cross-section of narra branchwood.

Fig. 2. Isolated fibers of narra branchwood.

Narra wood is one of the best raw materials to support the wood-based industries. This species is known for its numerous uses such as fine furniture, cabinets, cartwheels, musical instruments, and other specialty items. Since the demand for log production grows as the population proliferates, coupled with the scarcity of wood brought about by the imposition of logging ban policies including EO 23, the Philippines has started to address the issue on developing a sustainable source of wood raw materials. Utilization of branch wood of High Value Forest Crops (HVFC) could be one of the potential sources of wood raw materials and could be used as an alternative to stem wood. Narra (Pterocarpus indicus Willd.) is one of the high value forest crops and most commercially important timber species in the Philippines.

The anatomical properties and physico-mechanical properties of narra branchwood collected from Mount Makiling Forest Reserve (MMFR), Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines were studied. These properties could provide information that could be used as indicators of wood quality and utilization. These branchwood properties were also compared with narra stemwood’s experimental and published properties. Results showed that narra branchwood exhibits similar anatomical and physico-mechanical features to narra stemwood. Thus, narra branchwood may be used as a substitute for narra stemwood in various uses such as for high-grade furniture and cabinetry, musical instruments, pulp and paper, production of novelty items, and wood parquet.

Significance:
Narra (Pterocarpus indicus Willd.) is one of the high-value forest crops (HVFC) and commercially-important timber species in the country. The high demand for its stem wood is continuously increasing however its supply declines due to the scarcity of wood raw materials imposed by logging ban policies. Hence, the utilization of Narra branchwood could be one of the potential sources of wood raw materials and could be used as an alternative to its stem wood. The study of the anatomical and physico-mechanical properties of Narra branchwood could provide baseline information that can be used as indicators of wood quality and utilization.

Link to the article: http://philjournalsci.dost.gov.ph/publication/regular-issues/current-issue/95-vol-148-no-4-december-2019/1143-anatomical-and-physico-mechanical-characterization-of-narra-pterocarpus-indicus-willd-branchwood-collected-in-mount-makiling-forest-reserve-laguna-philippines
Impact factor: Not yet available


Ian Jasper A. Agulo
Department of Physical Sciences
College of Science
UP Baguio

High Concentration Bolometric System with Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNT) Absorber, Nanotechnology, 31: 125202, doi: 10.1088/1361-6528/ab5dd4, 2020

Schematic diagram of the carbon nanotube bolometer. The components are the electrode (yellow) and the carbon nanotube film (black circle). The geometry of the electrode is specifically designed to focus the incident radiation to the carbon nanotube film in order to enhance the thermal and optical properties of the device.

We demonstrate that a planar single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) film bolometer can exhibit enhanced thermal and optical properties. The SWCNT film were ink-printed on an oxidized silicon substrate between two pointed-tip Au electrodes across a gap of approximately 10 μm. We obtained a bolometer figure-of-merit temperature coefficient of resistance of greater than –3.0% at room temperature. An optical response of 1000 V W−1 was obtained from a 786 nm laser with an output power of 5 mW. The corresponding thermal time constant of 1.8 ms was estimated through the optical response by modulating the laser over a frequency range of 1 Hz–1 kHz. The optical noise equivalent power and optical detectivity of $4.5\times {10}^{-11}\,{\rm{W}}/\sqrt{{\rm{Hz}}}$ and $4.9\times {10}^{8}\,{\rm{cm}}\,\sqrt{{\rm{Hz}}}\,{{\rm{W}}}^{-1},$ respectively, were estimated from the responsivity, the spectral density, and area of the cell of the absorber, 4.9 × 10−4 cm2. We attribute the exceptional performance of the SWCNT microbolometer to the film nature of the absorber and to the high concentration of the incident electromagnetic radiation and localized heating between the tips of the electrode.

Significance:
In this work, we developed a very sensitive infrared sensor. The sensing element is made from a carbon nanotube (CNT) film. The film has enhanced thermal and optical properties, better than the currently commercially available vanadium oxide. The enhancement is attributed to the electrode geometry, focusing the incident radiation directly to the CNT film.

Link to the article: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1361-6528/ab5dd4/pdf
Impact factor:(2018/2019) 3.399


Ian Jasper A. Agulo
Department of Physical Sciences
College of Science
UP Baguio

Highly Efficient Photocatalysis by Zinc Oxide-Reduced Graphene Oxide (ZnO-rGO) Composite Synthesized via One-Pot Room-Temperature Chemical Deposition Method, Journal of Nanotechnology, https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/1895043, 2019

Process of photocatalysis by zinc oxide and reduced graphene oxide (rGO/graphite) composites. UV light provides the energy needed to create electrons in the zinc oxide. These electrons are transferred to the rGO. The remaining holes in the zinc oxide degrade the water, whose by product degrade methylene blue.

We synthesized zinc oxide-reduced graphene oxide (ZnO-rGO) composites using a one-pot chemical deposition method at room temperature. Zinc powder and graphene oxide (GO) of different mass ratios (1 : 1, 1 : 2, 1 : 5, 1 : 10, and 1 : 20 GO to Zn) were used as precursors in a mildly alkaline solution. UV-Vis spectroscopy was used to study the photocatalytic efficiency of the samples through the photodegradation of methylene blue (MB). UV-Vis measurements show the fast decomposition of methylene blue under UV light illumination with the best degradation efficiency of 97.7% within one hour, achieved with sample ZG2 (1 GO : 2 Zn mass ratio). The corresponding degradation rate was kZG2 = 0.1253 min−1, which is at least 5.5 times better than other existing works using hydrothermal methods. We argue that the excellent photodegradation of MB by ZG2 is due to the efficient charge separation brought about by the electronic interaction of the rGO with the ZnO and the formation of a Zn-O-C bond, as supported by XRD and Raman spectroscopy measurements.

Significance:
In this work, we have found a new composite material that is able to degrade a specific pollutant, called methylene blue, with almost 100% efficiency within one hour upon illumination by ultraviolet light. The novel material is graphene-based and is called zinc oxide-reduced graphene oxide (ZnO-rGO). The excellent efficiency is due to the bonding formed between zinc and carbon through the oxygen atom.

Link to the article: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnt/2019/1895043/
Impact factor: Not yet available


Marisol P. Martinez1, Geleena A. Gestiada1, Allen L. Nazareno1, Ranzivelle Marianne Roxas-Villanueva1 and Marie Joy F. Lopez2
1Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics, College of Arts and Sciences (UP Los Baños)
2Institute of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences (UP Los Baños)

Network Approach on Characterizing Floral Diversity in the Agroforestry Zone of Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, Philippines, Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1245 (1): 012033, 2019

Complex networks have been used to characterize real world systems. The network structure may signify important relationships which may not be evident in other methods of analysis. In this study, we characterize the floral diversity in three study sites in the agroforestry zone of Mount Makiling Forest Reserve using network analysis. Plant species found in each study site are considered as nodes (N). Edges (E) are established to connect species with the same alternate role and habit. The dataset includes N = 157 and E = 4279 for Bagong Silang site, N = 145 and E = 3740 for the Karay site, and N= 122 and E = 2429 for the Magnetic Hill site. Network parameters such as degree, path length, clustering coefficient, modularity and number of connected components were calculated. Obtained values were compared to published diversity index. Results show that lower clustering coefficient and higher average path length signify higher diversity. A higher number of disconnected components also indicates diversity.

Significance:
In this study, we used network analysis to quantify the floral diversity of three sites in the agroforestry zone of Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, namely, Bagong Silang, Sitio Karay, and Magnetic Hill. Calculated network parameters for the three sites were compared to their corresponding published diversity indices. It was found out that low number of disconnected components characterizes low diversity index. For networks with the same number of disconnected components, high degree, high clustering coefficient, low path length, and high modularity corresponds to low diversity index. For further study, other network parameters can be investigated. Network analysis can be used to study the diversity of more ecological sites to somehow generalize the trend of the network parameters against the diversity indices.

Link to the article: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/1245/1/012033
Impact factor: Not yet available


Allen L. Nazareno1, Geleena A. Gestiada1, Marisol P. Martinez1, Ranzivelle Marianne Roxas-Villanueva1 and Marie Joy F. Lopez2
1Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics, College of Arts and Sciences (UP Los Baños)
2Institute of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences (UP Los Baños)

An Artificial Neural Network Approach in Predicting Career Strand of Incoming Senior High School Students, Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1245(1): https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1245/1/012005, 2019

The basic architecture of ANN

The K to 12 program has been implemented in the Philippines by the Department of Education which implicated an additional two years in the students’ basic education. These ancillary years allow senior high school students to take courses under the core curriculum and the track of choice. Each student must select one track to pursue that can equip him/her with skills to prepare for the future. Prediction of choice of a career track in senior high school is advantageous for educational institutions since it gives insights that can help them develop vital programs beneficial for students’ learning in school. In this study, we applied an artificial neural network (ANN) to predict the career strand based on the students’ grades in five major subjects. Different ANN models have been considered and compared. In training and testing the models, a sample of 293 student data information was used. The highest accuracy recorded among all the models was 74.1 %.

Significance:
Determining the career track that a student may want to pursue in SHS is favorable to the school administrators, teachers, and students. With this information, it is possible to project future enrollees in a particular track. Further, it can help DepEd and other private education institutions in managing resources and in executing their plans and policies. The study can also help in identifying important factors relating to career track decision which can guide teachers in developing instructional materials and pedagogical strategies that might truly help students to perform well in their chosen track.

Link to the article: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/1245/1/012005
Impact factor: Not yet available


Ambrocio Melvin A. Matias
Institute of Biology
College of Science
UP Diliman

Asymmetric Dispersal is a Critical Element of Concordance Between Biophysical Dispersal Models and Spatial Genetic Structure in Great Barrier Reef Corals, Diversity and Distributions, 25: 1684-1696, 2019

Figure 1: Sampling locations and main attributes of biophysical model. A) Coastal Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef where bathymetry is shown by grey shading and 120 m depth reflects the approximate land mass exposure at lowest Pleistocene sea level stands. Designated regions correspond to management areas. Major offshore currents are shown (NVJ and SVJ: north and south Vanuatu jets, NQC: north Queensland current, EAC: east Australia current; modified from Coukroun et al. 2010; Mao & Luick 2014). B & C) Summary of top 50 percentile predicted connections based on relative path probabilities for Acropora tenuis (B) and Acropora millepora (C). Sampling locations are color coded by latitude with northern low latitude sites shown in reds (warm) and southern higher latitude sites shown in blues (cool). Vectors show predicted dispersal probabilities with thicker lines indicating higher probabilities and colored by source population.

Understanding the connections between coral populations is critical in developing management plans in preserving them. These connections specifically help us determine where corals in a population come from and where do their larvae go. While knowledge on these connections is valuable in management, determining them is not a trivial task. Here, we investigated the connections between populations of two Acropora species across the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), which is presently being threatened by events such mass bleaching. In particular, we employed biophysical modelling to determine likely connections between populations. This model takes into account not only the oceanographic currents, but also the biological attributes of the coral larvae, which are known to greatly influence their dispersal capacity. Results of biophysical modelling predicted a prevalence of north to south connections (southward dispersal). We then validated these results against genetic data (gene flow) of the two species, which is the evolutionary outcome of these connections. However, because genetic diversity is possibly influenced by other historical events, we first showed, through demographic modelling, that the genetic diversity observed in the two species is due to stepping-stone connections and not because of past divergence between the northern and southern populations of corals. With this affirmation, we next examined the alignment of biophysical model and genetic data. Here, we showed that the biophysical model significantly predicts the genetic data, especially when asymmetric dispersal is considered. Overall, these results suggest a considerable local recruitment and lack of long‐distance gene flow from south to north of GBR.

Significance:
Coral reef ecosystems, particularly foundational coral species, are presently threatened by various factors such as coral bleaching and crown-of-thorns outbreaks. Recovery from these threats can be facilitated by dispersal of larval propagules, which supply new settlers to degraded reefs. Because of this role of larval dispersal to coral reefs’ recovery, an understanding of mechanism underlying dispersal can be key in devising strategies in alleviating the threats to coral reefs and/or to promote reef recovery. However, documenting and predicting spatial connections resulting from larval dispersal in marine species remains a difficult task. For example, tagging and recovery of planktonic larvae is not trivial, especially when considering the spatial extent of coral reef ecosystem. Similarly, parentage analysis will be difficult because of the number of parents and new settlers needed to be sampled to gain an overview of the extent of dispersal. Whereas biophysical models present possible spatial connections between reefs, their results need to be validated with other empirical data before using them for practical applications such as management. In this work, we examined how well biophysical model can predict the genetic diversity of the coral Acropora tenuis and A. millepora across the Great Barier Reef, while taking into the possible asymmetry in dispersal and historical factors that can influence the genetic structuring in these species.

Link to the article: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ddi.12969
Impact factor: (2018/2019) 4.092


Marjorie D. delos Angeles1, Inocencio E. Buot Jr.1, Virginia C. Cuevas1 and Pearl B. Sanchez2
1Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences (UP Los Baños)
2Agricultural Systems Institute, College of Agriculture and Food Science (UP Los Baños)

Phytoremediating Capacity of Copper Tolerant Plants in Mine Tailing Soil Materials with Compost Amendment in Mankayan Benguet, Philippines, EnvironmentAsia 13(1): 86-98, 2020

Figure 1. A) Tailing pond 4 (TP4) and B) Tailing pond 3 (TP3) containing copper-contaminated soil and municipal wastes.

Figure 2. Changes in f A) Final bulk density, B) Mean final CEC and C) Mean final pH in treatments where materials from TP3 was used as growth medium.

Fifteen species representing 12 genera and 8 families were potential phytoremediators. The most dominant species different growth media with highly variable soil physical and chemical characteristics, was Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. This plant can be utilized as a phytostabilizing agent in different media types contaminated with copper. The addition of 4% and 8% compost application increased cover to more than double from 18.33% of 0% compost application to 47.33% at 8% application by the end of the experiment. Increased application of compost resulted to the formation of soluble copper complexes which are available for plant uptake.

The agricultural soil had an initial acidic pH of 4.9 and the soil materials from TP4 had an initial acidic pH of 5. Materials from TP3 had a strongly acidic pH of 2.5 and had the densest media with a bulk density of 1.42Mg m-3 and the lowest CEC with 3.79 cmol kg-1. TP3 has a very harsh environment making it difficult for plants to thrive in. This study also verified that addition of organic matter in phytoremediation illustrated a significant increase in pH. This study suggests exploring different plant species that are capable of tolerating copper-contaminated sites in the area. There will be a faster reclamation of these copper-contaminated sites once additional plant species, as well as its phytoremediating mechanism are determined.

Significance:
This study identified fifteen species representing 12 genera and 8 families that were potential phytoremediators. These plant species were collected from copper-contaminated soils in abandoned tailings ponds in barangay Paco, Mankayan, Benguet, Philippines. It also examined and verified the role of organic matter in phytoremediation by utilizing growth media with varying concentrations of copper. Agricultural soil, tailings pond overlaid with tops soil and municipal biowaste (TP4), and abandoned tailings pond without rehabilitation (TP3) were amended with 4%, 8%, and 16% compost. This study verified that addition of organic matter in phytoremediation illustrated a significant increase in pH. This study suggests to explore different plant species that are capable of tolerating copper-contaminated sites in the area. There will be a faster reclamation of these copper-contaminated sites once additional plant species as well as its phytoremediating mechanism are determined.

Link to the article: http://www.tshe.org/ea/pdf/EA11(2)_08.pdf
Impact factor: Not yet available


Katrina Hannah D. Ignacio1, Marjorie Anne C. Bagnas1, Adrian I. Espiritu1 and Jose Paciano Baltazar T. Reyes1
1Department of Neurosciences, College of Medicine (UP Manila)

Secondary Hypokalemic Paralysis with Bulbar Weakness and Reversible Electrophysiologic Abnormalities: A Case Report and Systematic Review, Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 70: 254-257, 2019

Figure 1. PRIMSA Flow Diagram

Hypokalemic periodic paralysis is a condition that presents with generalized weakness, at times to a severe degree. The exact mechanism by which this happens is not yet clear. It is rare for nerve conduction studies (studies that assess the integrity of nerves) to be done in this condition. This article reports a rare case of hypokalemic paralysis that presented with symptoms not typical of the condition. It also presents results of nerve conduction studies done that mimicked a nerve disease called Guillain Barre Syndrome. The study also summarized reports from the literature on cases similar to the one presented.

Significance:
Secondary hypokalemic periodic paralysis from distal renal tubular acidosis is a rare cause of weakness. Nerve conduction abnormalities in this condition are seldom documented. We report a case presenting as acute flaccid quadriplegia associated with bulbar symptoms in which serial nerve conduction studies at various potassium levels were conducted. A systematic review was also conducted to make clinicians aware of the clinical presentation and electrophysiologic findings in hypokalemic paralysis. The article also stresses the importance of early recognition and appropriate management of HPP is important so that potassium replacement can be instituted.

Link to the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967586819312354
Impact factor: (2018/2019) 1.593


Maria Patricia V. Azanza1, Rowena Grace R. Sanchez1, Una Grace M. Dollete1 and Bernard Niño Q. Membrere1
1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Home Economics (UP Diliman)

Foodborne Disease Outbreaks in the Philippines (2005-2018), Philippine Journal of Science, 148 (2): 317-336, 2019

The study detailed reported Philippine foodborne disease outbreaks (FBDOs) for the period 2005 – June 2018 based on secondary data from web portals, electronic archives of local news agencies, electronic archives of local newspapers, government websites, and printed reports from the Epidemiology Bureau of the Philippine Department of Health (DOH). Data were categorized and evaluated in terms of associated food vehicles, etiological agents, venues of outbreaks, and morbidity and mortality cases. The specific food vehicle was unidentified in most FBDO cases in this study, however, for those that were identified, it was found that meat-containing dishes were the most common causative foods in the evaluated outbreaks. Food service eating facilities (such as canteens) and households were found more prone to outbreak occurrences. Although there were reported outbreaks with unidentified causative agents, Salmonella spp., Henipavirus, Entamoeba histolytica, and Vibrio parahaemolyticus were cited as primary causes of infections. On the other hand, staphylococcal enterotoxins, carbamate toxin, and paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin were involved in human intoxications. Evidently, the Philippines has room for improvement in terms of monitoring, reporting, and laboratory testing for foodborne disease outbreaks.

Significance:
This research presents a profile of the foodborne disease outbreaks in the Philippines for a period of 13 years. It provides data presented in different forms (such as classification of the food vehicles and location of outbreaks) as opposed to the data presented in the official national reports which combine the outbreaks from water and food. Regulatory health officials and food industry personnel can use the present information from the study for understanding the causes of Philippines FBDOs.

Link to the article: http://philjournalsci.dost.gov.ph/87-current-issue/vol-148-no-2-june-2019/1020-foodborne-disease-outbreaks-in-the-philippines-2005-2018
Impact factor: Not yet available


Rosalie C. Mendoza1, Ramon A. Razal1, Willie P. Abasolo1, Roberto G. Visco2 and Canesio D. Predo2
1Department of Forest Products and Paper Science, College of Forestry and Natural Resources
and Development
(UP Los Baños)
2Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, College of Forestry and Natural Resources
and Development
(UP Los Baños)

Aboveground Biomass Characterization of a Young Kawayan Tinik Plantation (Bambusa blumeana J.A. & J.H. Schultes) in Nueva Ecija, Philippines for Bioenergy Production, Philippine Journal of Science, 148(4): 627-636, 2019

Kawayan tinik holds promise as an alternative biomass crop not only in the Philippines, but also in other countries where this species grows. Currently, kawayan tinik is being used as biofuels in the form of charcoal, briquettes or pellets. However, most of the raw materials come from mature kawayan tinik culms. This study assessed the potential of young kawayan tinik plantation development for energy production. Yearly determination of biomass and culm growth of kawayan tinik from branch cuttings was done for a young bamboo plantation established at Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Nueva Ecija. In general, results suggest that the kawayan tinik plantation studied is a potential source of raw materials for bioenergy production, provided that proper monitoring will be conducted and silvicultural treatments that are likely to increase the productivity of the clumps and improve its properties and suitability for bioenergy production will be done. Moreover, full documentation of these silvicultural treatments should be done by the plantation managers for easier tracking of what treatments are favoring the growth of the plantation.

Significance:
This study can help promote kawayan tinik plantations as bioenergy sources. Kawayan tinik, being a “multi-purpose” bamboo species, would require a strategic plantation development and harvesting scheme. Studies looking into the properties of kawayan tinik as affected by clump age and information on the potential performance as an energy crop are still lacking. In order to more efficiently use kawayan tinik as raw material for energy production efficiently, it is essential to carry out a detailed characterization of its biomass.

Link to the article: http://philjournalsci.dost.gov.ph/publication/regular-issues/current-issue/95-vol-148-no-4-december-2019/1126-aboveground-biomass-characterization-of-a-young-kawayan-tinik-plantation-bambusa-blumeana-j-a-j-h-schultes-in-nueva-ecija-philippines-for-bioenergy-production
Impact factor: Not yet available


Bing Baltazar C. Brillo
Institute for Governance and Rural Development
College of Public Affairs and Development
UP Los Baños

Status, Governance and Development of Gunao Lake: The Little-Known Lake of Dolores, Quezon, Philippines, Asian Journal of Water, Environment and Pollution, 17(1): 27-33, 2020

Anchored on the scarcity of small lake studies in the country, the article explores the little-known small lake of Dolores, Quezon, Philippines— Gunao Lake; its existence virtually unheard of in scholarly literature. Specifically, the study documents the crater lake by delineating the status of the lake using seven basic governance and development parameters. Using data from interviews, site observations, and few existing documents on the lake, the study contends that Gunao Lake is deficient in key management and conservation enablers: the absence of a management council and a Master Development Plan, and the failure to institutionalise tourism, funding mechanisms and maintenance activities. These failings are attributable to the local government’s limited funds and the failure to tie-up the small lake’s development within its centerpiece tourism project in mount Banahaw area. In placing Gunao Lake on the literature map, overall, this study makes a small step in expanding the governance and development studies on small lakes in the country.

Significance:
The assessment delineated the governance and development status of Gunao Lake as well as identify the areas of deficiency and their salient factors. The criteria utilised are the essential enablers of governance, development and conservation of a small lake, and improving on them is crucial if meaningful change is to be gained in Gunao Lake. The findings showed the areas for improvement: organising a management council, formulating an MDP, promoting tourism, establishing finance mechanisms, and institutionalising maintenance activities. Tying all together, it elucidates the failure of the Municipal Government to take serious action in Gunao Lake. This nonfeasance points to the little interest of the local government on the small lake due mainly to limited funds and failure to integrate its development within the Municipality’s centerpiece tourism project in mount Banahaw area. As mentioned, the tourism funds and efforts of the Municipal Government are primarily dedicated to the improvement of the Mount Banahaw area. As a consequence, Gunao Lake has been perennially placed outside the priority of the administrative agency, and thus, failing to realise the development potentials and sustainability requirements the inland water resource. Conversely, this underscores the local government’s commitment as critical to gain grounds in the management, conservation and development of Gunao Lake.

In closing, the article literally placed Gunao Lake on the map of scholarly literature by providing baseline-steering information about the inland water resource; particularly, by illustrating the governance-development circumstances and experiences of a little known small lake in the country. This undertaking is timely and consequential— considering the threatened condition of lakes in the country (see Aralar et al. 2005, Fernandez 2011, Aralar et al. 2013, GNF 2014) and the now acknowledged abundance (see Lehner and Doll 2004, Downing et al. 2006, Oertli et al. 2009, Brillo 2015a) and ecological significance of small lakes (see Kelly et al. 2001, Smith et al., 2002, Scheffer et al. 2006, Hanson et al. 2007, Downing 2010). Under this context, the study hopes to instigate more studies on Gunao Lake, in particular, and small lakes, in general, as they are numerous in the country (and in the world).

Link to the article: https://www.iospress.nl/journal/asian-journal-of-water-environment-and-pollution/
Impact factor: Not yet available


Bing Baltazar C. Brillo1, Rolando T. Bello1and Evelie P. Serrano1
1Institute for Governance and Rural Development, College of Public Affairs and Development (UP Los Baños)

The Administrative Performance of the Laguna Lake Development Authority on the Small Lakes of the Laguna de Bay Region, Philippines, Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, 19(4): 29-43, 2019

Few studies have dealt with small lakes in the Philippines, particularly aspects of their governance, which translate to information deficit on the status of administration of many lakes in the country. At the core of governance in any lake is its administrative agency, and in the eight crater lakes of San Pablo City, it is the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA). Under this context, this article examines the administrative performance of the LLDA on the eight small lakes (i.e., Sampaloc Lake, Bunot Lake, Palakpakin Lake, Calibato Lake, Mohicap Lake, Pandin Lake, Yambo Lake, and Tadlac Lake) of the Laguna de Bay Region. The study evaluates the agency using four criteria deemed fundamental in managing, conserving, and developing small lakes: (1) having an approved management and development plan (MDP); (2) regulating fish pens and cages; (3) implementing the shoreline easement; and (4) conducting maintenance activities. Using data from interviews, site observations, documents, reports, and other secondary sources, the study contends that the LLDA’s performance is ambivalent because its management of the small lakes can be characterized as slow and lacking in follow-through in the MDP issue; unsatisfactory in the regulation of aquastructure and shoreline easement; but decent in water quality monitoring, clean-up operations, and fingerlings dispersal. On the whole, the assessment exemplifies the inconsistent actions of the LLDA and underscores the long-term commitment and accountability of the agency in governing the crater lakes.

Significance:
Properly managing the small lakes in the Philippines is important because the inland water resources are abundant in the country, and many of them are a potential catalyst for the development of the surrounding impoverished communities. This rationale is aligned with the concept of development as an improvement that is shared and sustainable (Global Monitoring Report, 2015), which in small lake development simply means improving the situation of the local people (making development inclusive) and ensuring the conservation of the water resource (making development sustainable).

Small lakes (together with major lakes in the country) are contemporarily ecologically threatened. The First National Congress on Philippine Lakes held in 2003 and the Second National Congress on Philippine Lakes held in 2011 have recognized that many lakes in the country, despite incremental improvements, remain at risk of environmental degradation due mainly to indiscriminate utilization and increasing demands of economic growth (Aralar et al., 2005; Fernandez, 2011; Aralar et al., 2013; Global Nature Fund, 2014). Against this backdrop, studies on Philippine lakes have been incrementally increased over the years. However, the concentration of scholarly works is on the abiotic and biotic features of the major lakes in the country (Brillo, 2015a; see also Guerrero, 2001, 2005). Presently, few studies have dealt with small lakes, particularly on the aspects of their governance (see International Lake Environment Committee, 2005; Downing, 2010; United Nations Development Programme-Water Governance Facility, 2015; Brillo, 2015a, 2017a). This reality translates to information deficit in small lakes as well as in the status of their administration. Governance is fundamental because enforcing the key regulations and implementing the many scientific findings on lakes are contingent in it (see Nowlan & Bakker, 2007; Simms & de Loë, 2010; Melnychuk, Murray, & de Loë, 2012). At the core of governance in any lake is its administrative agency, and in the eight small lakes, it is the LLDA.

Predicated on the preceding discussions, this study addresses the literature deficit by examining the LLDA’s performance in managing, conserving, and developing the eight crater lakes under its jurisdiction. Consistent with the gap in the literature, governance and administration studies on the eight crater lakes are deficient, as the great majority of existing scholarly works are under limnology and aquaculture aspects (see Brillo, 2015b, 2015c, 2016a, 2016b, 2016c, 2016d, 2017b). Overall, the study argues that the LLDA’s performance is ambivalent because its administration of the eight small lakes can be characterized as slow and lacking in follow-through in the management and development plan (MDP) issue; unsatisfactory in regulating aquastructure and shoreline easement; but satisfactorily in water quality monitoring, clean-up operations, and fingerlings dispersal. Moreover, the findings illustrate the lack of consistency in the actions of the LLDA and underscore two key features— the long-term commitment and accountability of the agency in governing the eight crater lakes.

Link to the article: https://apssr.com/publications/
Impact factor: Not yet available


Bing Baltazar C. Brillo1, Hadji C. Jalotjot2, Agnes C. Rola1
1Institute for Governance and Rural Development, College of Public Affairs
and Development
(UP Los Baños)
2Center for Strategic Planning and Policy Studies, College of Public Affairs
and Development
(UP Los Baños)

Impact on Income and Livelihood of Fisheries Workers: Closed Fishing Season Policy for Sardines in Zamboanga Peninsula, Philippines, Journal of Coastal Conservation, 23(6): 1057-1067, 2019

The closed fishing season policy for sardines in the Zamboanga Peninsula is intended to conserve the sardine species and sustain long-term operations for the sardine industry in the region. As the fishing regulation entails work suspension, it could inevitably pose serious repercussion on the fisheries workers who are highly dependent on sardine production for livelihood. This study assesses the impact of the three-month fishing ban on the income and livelihood of the fisheries workers. Utilizing a survey research design, the article shows that income loss as the first and immediate consequence following the implementation of the policy in 2011. This is consequential to the economic well-being of the affected fisheries workers, especially to those among low-income households. While income loss seems to cast a shadow over the favourability of the fishing regulation, the fisheries workers still managed to alleviate the impact by obtaining a replacement job or substitute livelihood; being rehired by the canning factories and bottling companies after the fishing ban; having multiple sources of income, and staying in the workforce for scaled-down operations in the sardine processing companies. These factors mitigate income loss, translate to a guaranteed re-employment, and offer some security to the fisheries workers and their households during the closed fishing season.

Significance:
A conservation area in the coastal waters around Zamboanga Peninsula was established in 2011. Under the policy, there will be a closed fishing season for sardines and other related species for three months within a 12-month. The policy limited access to the livelihood of various stakeholders. Serious concern was raised on the possible effect on the affected stakeholders especially those in the fishing and sardine processing industry. This study assessed the impact of the closed fishing season policy on fisheries workers, specifically those in canneries. By assessing the impacts of fisheries policy, the study was able to determine the effect of the policy on income and livelihood of the workers and also identify possible policy actions to mitigate the adverse policy impacts.

Link to the article: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11852-019-00713-y
Impact factor: (2018/2019) 1.264


Jamie R. Chua1 and Albert Jr. B. Albay1
1Department of Medicine, College of Medicine (UP Manila)

Body Composition of Filipino Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Patients in Relation to Their Lung Function, Exercise Capacity and Quality of Life, International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 14: 2759-2765, 2019

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a disease caused by excessive smoking or exposure to harmful smoke that damages the lungs and airways. Many studies showed that COPD creates systemic inflammation which affects other organs such as the muscles, heart, brain; thus, we often see COPD patients that were undernourished and with other conditions (hypertension, coronary artery disease). Our study intends to know how COPD patients’ body mass (muscle mass) can affect their lung symptoms, function, muscle strength and exercise performance. Our study recruited 41 Filipino COPD patients. After consent, they were interviewed, asked to answer questionnaires, perform several exercises, and underwent body composition analysis. We divide them according to the low and normal muscle mass (fat-free mass index). Our study showed that 32% of them are underweight, those with low muscle mass have weaker lung strength, lower lung function, weaker upper arm muscle strength. However, exercise measurements and lung symptoms were the same for both groups.

The paper asserts that poverty among poor, elderly women adds to their caring work which further reinforces their marginalization. The family as a social construct needs to be reexamined especially the power relations between women and men that disadvantage women in terms of the benefits and costs of care work.

Significance:
To determine how body composition (muscle mass) of Filipino COPD patients can affect COPD-related clinical variables such as lung function, exercise capacity, muscle strength, etc. so that accurate nutritional assessment and management shall be advocated by physicians.

Link to the article: https://www.dovepress.com/articles.php?article_id=50171
Impact factor: (2018/2019) 3.274


Pablito M. Magdalita1 and Alangelico O. San Pascual1
1Institute of Crop Science, College of Agriculture and Food Science (UP Los Baños)

Somatic Embryogenesis, Regeneration, Phenotypic and Cytological Evaluation of Selected Philippine Papaya (Carica papaya L.) Genotypes, Philippine Journal of Crop Science, 44(3): 20-30, 2019

This paper presents the somatic embryogenesis and production of artificial seeds of different Philippine papaya genotypes, its regeneration and the results of phenotypic and cytological evaluation of somatic embryogenesis derived Papaya plants.

This study shows successful production of multiple artificial seeds (embryos) using only one embryo using somatic embryogenesis in vitro. The study also investigated on the fruit and tree characters of plants derived from somatic embryogenesis which were planted in the field. Cytological evaluation of trees were also done to check for somaclonal variations and changes that have been caused by in vitro culture.

This protocol shows promising results as to how to mass produce Papaya especially those from the Philippines using only one embryo. This study also proved low somaclonal variation on the plants derived from somatic embryogenesis as verified by phenotypic and cytological evaluation.

Significance:
The Paper shows the production of artificial seeds using somatic embryo induced from zygotic embryos of Philippine Papaya genotypes. The paper showed a rapid increase in the production of artificial seeds to increase plant production in vitro. Selected lines showed promising performance in terms of somatic embryos produced and full plant produced. Also, the study explored the different exposure techniques of the apical dome to somatic embryogenesis and found that complete exposure of apical dome promotes somatic embryogenesis. In addition, squashing also promoted somatic embryogenesis.

The peak of regeneration and germination of secondary somatic embryos were observed 7-8 months after initial explanting. Field planting confirmed that fruiting habits of somatic embryogenesis derived plants and those seed derived are uniforms.

However, one inbred line 4172, a typical hermaphrodite line produced sexually ambivalent males as this can be a form of somaclonal, variation, only a minimal level was observed. SAM had chromosomal aberrations but despite these abnormalities, pollen viability and germination is high indicating fertility

Link to the article: https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20203113780
Impact factor: (2018/2019) 0.135


Allen L. Nazareno
Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Linear Conjugacy of Chemical Kinetic Systems, Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, 16(6): 8322-8355, 2019

Chemical reaction network corresponding to the R. Schimtz’s pre-industrial carbon cycle model

The graphs of the trajectories for the original carbon cycle model and sparse linearly conjugate realization

In this study, we developed an algorithm that can be used to establish linear conjugacy between two chemical kinetic systems. Linear conjugacy is a property that takes the flow of one system to the other via a linear transformation. This concept can be used primarily to analyze the behavior of a system. The algorithm is divided into two major procedures: 1) transforming a given system into another system (a complex factorizable) and 2) implementing an optimization process to find a linearly conjugate realization of the transformed system.

Significance:
This research work can be generally used to model the behavior of chemical and biological systems. Also, this study can be used by other researchers to develop further the chemical reaction network theory.

Link to the article: https://www.aimspress.com/fileOther/PDF/MBE/mbe-16-06-421.pdf
Impact factor: (2018/2019) 1.313


Darwin B. Putungan
Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

First-principles Investigation of the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction on Different Surfaces of Pyrites MnS2, FeS2, CoS2, NiS2, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 21: 21561-21567, 2019

The whole world currently relies on the use of fossil fuels in producing energy. Energy is very indispensable, as everything can be traced back to it, whether it’s about economics, politics and the environment. Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases, in particular CO2, that is the main culprit behind global warming and subsequently climate change. To alleviate these concerns, alternative ways of producing energy must be considered, and the best possible alternative to fossil fuel is hydrogen. Hydrogen as an energy carrier does not produce any emissions, thus it is considered as clean. If used in a fuel cell, the only outputs are energy and water.

In this work, we theoretically investigated the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) on those XRD observed (100), (110), (111), and (210) surfaces of pyrite structure CoS2 . The random structure searching method was employed in this work to thoroughly and less-biased identify the active sites for each considered surface. We calculated the free energy of hydrogen adsorption and found that (110) and (210) surfaces are more active than conventionally assumed (100) facet. While the lowest energy active site on the (100) and (210) surface is the five-coordinated transition metal site that is commonly seen in other HER catalysts, the lowest energy active site on the (110) surface is the two-coordinated S site, which is a S tetrahedron with two corners missing. Besides those lowest energy active sites, both (110) and (210) have more than one species of active sites on the surface, including not fully coordinated transition metals and sulfur. We further explored the reaction for MnS2, FeS2, and NiS2 and analyzed the density of states. Our results showed both CoS2 and NiS2 (110) and (210) surface are catalytically reactive for HER

Significance:
Energy concerns will be going to rise in the years to come, and as such, it is paramount to study materials that could be utilized in generating clean and renewable energy. One such example is hydrogen, and the most renewable way of getting it is by splitting water into its oxygen and hydrogen components. Hydrogen gas can then be produced by using an appropriate catalyst material, such as transition metal pyrites. In this work, we probed the different surfaces of CoS2, MnS2, FeS2 and NiS2 for hydrogen evolution reaction using density functional theory calculations. Our results are of significance to experimentalists as these could serve as a guide in the fabrication and cleaving of appropriate surface for hydrogen evolution.

Link to the article: https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2019/cp/c9cp03893k/unauth#!divAbstract
Impact factor: (2018/2019) 3.567