EDITORIAL: Naga to the world

NAGUEÑOS never cease to have reason to feel proud. Barely had the dust settled after some 51 outstanding Naga citizens were conferred the annual mayoral awards last June in celebration of the city’s 70th charter anniversary “for bringing pride, honor and glory” to the city, here we hear the news of four students from the Ateneo de Naga University being hailed as champion in the 7th ASEAN Accounting Education Workgroup Contest held in Singapore Institute of Technology. In the contest, participating students took the role of top level management tasked to increase their sales and profit. Armed with concepts and techniques they learned from inside and outside school, software, and teamwork, the Naga Ateneans – Camilla Talagtag, Angelique Abellada, Charles Arendaing, and Edward Lorence Tejada --obtained the highest score ahead of teams from 11 other countries. Earlier, Nikki Maria Rubio, also of the Ateneo, placed 7th in the 2018 Nursing Examinations. And last Monday, Ms. Peachy Dy-Liacco De La Cruz, an ordinary private employee, was honored at city hall for returning to the owner a clutch bag containing P60,000 and other important documents even as she is everyday looking for extra money for the continuing treatment of her son who is diagnosed with leukemia. Only a few days ago, another young Nagueña was lavishly featured in the national papers for her invention called “Airdisc”, an energy-efficient air conditioning system that requires low power (therefore low energy cost) and does away with Freon that spews polluted air in the environment. Maria Yzabell Angel V. Palma, 19, a graduate of Philippine Science High School Bicol campus and a Jesse M. Robredo Youth Awardee in the 2018 Mayoral Awards (the other youth awardee was the robotics team from Naga-based Camarines Sur National High School that won the silver medal in the international S&T fair in Pennsylvania, USA), is reaping an avalanche of accolades and great promise from the global community for her green project that will, in the near future, make cooling system in the homes affordable even to ordinary households. Yzabell said she and her father, Bernardo Badiola Palma, are now looking for local and foreign partners who will commercially manufacture the AirDisc airconditioner. “One of the advantages of AirDisc is that it only uses 350 watts of power consumption, compared to 1,200 watt power consumption of the traditional air conditioners,” she was quoted as saying, adding that if the prototype they will manufacture commercially was further improved, it would consume only 150 watts for a 0.5 horsepower unit. Curiously, the former young colegiala’s invention came at a time when the world worries about the high cost of cooling ordinary homes while the heat wave continues to kill people all over the world. And yet, according to a recent Time magazine article, scientists and policymakers are vexed with the paradox that while “air conditioning keeps people cool and save lives, [it] is also one of the biggest contributors to global warming.” Yzabelle herself, in interviews with various national and international newspapers, said that in 2016, more than 100 million units of air conditioners were produced globally but not everybody could afford one. “This AirDisc will be very affordable especially to the less fortunate. And it is significant to Filipinos. We know it is very hot, there is global warming and it is getting worse every year,” the Business Mirror quoted her as saying. Her cooling system, she added, will be a means so the poor, not just the rich, will be able to buy an air-conditioner. And yes, without hurting the environment. Palma’s AirDisc has won gold medals from the World Inventors Contest 2017 in South Korea, the International Invention Innovation Competition 2017 in Canada, and the 2018 International Intellectual Property Invention, Innovation and Technology Exposition in Thailand. This, while the world – where heat and humidity are reaching harmful levels -- is looking for cheaper solutions to cool homes and offices at lesser cost and harm by phasing out the pollutant hydrofluorocarbon which this Naga teenager is already doing.