It was exciting and educational. This pretty much describes the 67th National Midyear Convention of the Institute of Electronics and Communications Engineers of the Philippines (IECEP) that took place in the City of Smiles, Bacolod City last May 25-27, 2017 with the theme ”Enhancing Capability of Globally Competitive Electronics Professionals.” This three-day event showcased different presentations, lectures and a plant tour in a sugar mill and solar farm. Moriel Castillo and Melanie Estayo from the Mill Instrumentation – Maintenance Department were privileged to witness and participate in this full packed conference participated in by Electronics professionals from all over the Philippines.
The first day of the event kicked off with festive and colorful masked dancers welcoming all delegates with warmth and all smiles. The first two days of the convention tackled the various technological advancements brought about by the rapid developments in the field of electronics. The ECE profession offers a wide array of specialization from industrial electronics, telecommunications, instrumentation, broadcasting, biomedical etc. thus the lectures discussed on this two-day seminar were overwhelming.
Course topics such as Digital Radio Communication System discussing the digital radios making its entry into the Philippine communication sector were explained. Introduction to Internet – of – Things (IoT) and its Testing Technologies present technologies used in the IoT with emphasis on the electrical, electronics and testing technologies. To summarize, IoT is the internetworking of physical devices and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data. An example cited was the application, Waze, wherein it provides information such as traffic guidance and warnings about nearby congestions, accidents and even weather conditions. This interesting blend of navigation system and a social network is a community driven interactive service meaning it collects information from users and can ultimately be used by others to have a safe and secure driving experience.
Other technical topics such as Bill of Quantities of Electronics Systems, Choosing the right cable for the right application, High end surveillance systems, Building management system for factory automation and Designing long range wireless network were also expounded. Another interesting topic related to instrumentation is the subject on the communications protocol for instrumentation. It focuses mainly on the digital transmission methods for industrial communications and how instrumental the information provided by field devices for the success of process plants with regards to the optimization of equipment. They also discussed ECE curriculum updates which will be implemented by all Higher Education Institutions offering Electronics Engineering and also the ECE roadmap update and revised CPD guidelines. The latter topic which is about the Republic Act No. 10912 also known as the Continuing Professional Development of 2016 was subject to criticisms and queries from other delegates. Concerns regarding the renewal of PRC license were explained and the plan of our organization on stepping up and enhancing the capability of Electronics professionals were as well elaborated. Since electronics profession is multi-disciplinary in nature, specialization will then be included in renewing license. In a sense, if someone is working in an instrumentation sector, he will have to attend a seminar related to his specialization which will credit him CPD points and will be used in the PRC renewal process.
The third day was the most exciting part of the convention. Bacolod City is also known as the sugar capital of the Philippines. As such, they were able to visit a sugar mill plant which is the oldest but very much operational sugar central in Negros Occidental. The Hawaiian Philippine Company was established in 1918 and is one of the few muscovado sugar producers left in the world. Muscovado sugar literally means low quality sugar since it was poorly drained of its molasses however the most nutritional by-product of sugar due to its natural mineral contents.
The employees of the company were very accommodating with all their questions. They showed them every part of their process plant and they were able to learn how sugar is made. They elaborated the various process control and monitoring systems they use and how important these instruments are to their production.
Another destination they visited was a solar farm in Silay City. The Citicore Power Incorporated operates the 25 Megawatts solar plant in Silay City. This 25 MW plant spans 43 hectares and includes over 96,000 photovoltaic modules that can power 30,000 homes in the Visayas grid.
Though not related in the ECE profession, an additional tour at Campuestohan highland resort was included in their convention program feature. This 5-hectare property is situated in the boundaries of Bacolod and Talisay cities and offers panoramic scenery and breathtaking view of almost half of the province of Negros Occidental. With its somewhat Tagaytay weather, the resort offers various activities one can truly enjoy. Swimming pools, life size action figures, Hobbits place, Indian Village, zip lines are just some of the things you can take pleasure in this wonderland.
Last on the list of their trip is the famous heritage landmark the ”Taj Mahal of Negros” – The Ruins. Built with love in the early 1900’s, the mansion was the largest residential structure ever built at that time. The place was burnt down in the early part of World War II by the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) to prevent the Japanese forces from utilizing it as their headquarters. It took days of inferno to bring down the roof and the two-inch wooden floors of the mansion. The structure itself withstands the fire due to the high quality materials used in building it. This was according to the famous funny tour guide and a contestant back then of the Pinoy Big Brother, Roger Lucero. They even took a picture with him during their visit.
This was their first time participating in an outside Luzon convention and overall, this event truly is informative and fun. They are grateful to Philex management for granting them this opportunity for they have gained not only valuable knowledge but also a memorable experience of a lifetime.
Featured by: MF Castillo / MB Estayo