Six Filipino youths emerged winners of the ASEAN Data Science Explorers National Finals

Following the completion of the ASEAN Data Science Explorers Philippines National Finals, six local students were awarded with the top three awards for their insights and ideas on driving a sustainable future for ASEAN. The six students, who represented three teams comprising two students each, were among the top 10 teams who were selected to pitch their ideas in the national finals, held at SAP Philippines office in Taguig City.

The competition, which is co-organised by the ASEAN Foundation and multinational software company SAP, is aimed at promoting awareness and appreciation of the ASEAN community amongst young people through digital literacy. Students who registered for the program earlier in 2017 were given access to ASEAN data as well as SAP Analytics Cloud platform, which allowed them to better analyze the data and derive meaningful insights. The initiative encourages participants to deliver data-driven insights which highlight issues in ASEAN across six United Nation Sustainable Development Goals, namely (1) good health and well-being, (2) quality education, (3) gender equality, (4) clean water and sanitation, (5) decent work and economic growth, and (6) sustainable cities and communities.

“This is the inaugural year in which we are conducting this competition, in partnership with SAP, and we are pleased to see high rates of registrations and submissions of ideas from students in the Philippines. Following a stringent judging process, both the ASEAN Foundation and SAP selected the top 10 teams from the Philippines to present at the national finals held today. Many of the ideas proposed to us today were interesting and insightful, and I hope that these youths will continue to develop their passion and ideas to drive the ASEAN Community towards a sustainable future together,” said Elaine Tan, the Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation.

Team “VizziePeople,” comprising students Miguelito Tolipas and Alexis Glenn Espina from University of the Philippines College of Business Administration in Diliman, bagged the national finals champions title for the Philippines. Meanwhile, Team “Neophyte,” composed of Laurenth Krishtel Roxas and Adelyn Labine from Malayan Colleges in Laguna; and Team “D’Papis” composed of Jay Mark Butalon and Tristan Gabriel Bal from Mapua School of Information Technology came in second and third, respectively.

“Our presentation focused on the development of sustainable cities and communities. We decided to delve on this topic because we believe that there is still so much to be done to achieve it. Getting the necessary insights on how we can help make cities more sustainable is vital not just for the Philippines, but for all of ASEAN,” said Miguel Tolipas of the winning team. “SAP Analytics Cloud platform allowed us to have a macro perspective to better appreciate this issue. With the insights that we gained, we were able to come up with concrete recommendations to the Philippine government that can also be applied to other countries in the region.”

"I am happy to serve as one of the judges for the ASEAN Data Science Explorers National Finals. This initiative is a good exposure for our students to experience the rigors of international competition while learning the discipline of data analysis and reporting. Students are also able to tackle very relevant issues that impact the development of countries in the entire region and around the world," said Carlos Mayorico E. Caliwara, Assistant Secretary and Chief of Staff, Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Team “VizziePeople” will represent the Philippines in the ASEAN Data Science Explorers Regional Face-Off in Jakarta on November 23, where they will compete with the national winners from nine other ASEAN member states.