16 highschools gather in LB for Econvergence 2014

by Rachel N. Nuñez

Two hundred fifty high school students and 24 teachers from 16 schools nationwide convened in the 9th Econvergence on February 8 at the UP Los Baños (UPLB) NCAS Auditorium in Los Baños, Laguna.

The UPLB Economics Society (Econ Soc) scholastic economics convention aims to promote appreciation of economics among high school students through the analysis of relevant social issues in the country.

With the theme “Enhancing the Philippines’ Business Environment towards a Competitive Economy,” the event emphasized the call for a more effective Filipino investment strategy to achieve economic competitiveness. Frances Inna Siton, Econ Soc president, explained that this year’s theme highlights the ASEAN integrated community maintaining Econvergence’s focus on relevant issues.

Participating schools include Ateneo de Manila High School, Colegio San Agustin-Biñan, De La Salle Santiago Zobel, De La Salle University Integrated School, Dingras National High School-Ilocos Norte, Kalayaan National High School-Caloocan City, Los Baños National High School, Our Lady of Assumption-Cabuyao, Our Lady of Assumption-San Pedro, Philippine Science High School (PSHS) Central Visayas, Philippine Science High School (PSHS) Main, St. Andrew’s School-Parañaque City, St. Louis College-Valenzuela, University of Batangas, University of the Philippines Rural High School, and Canossa School-Sta. Rosa.

UPLB Alumnus Atty. Sangalang discussed why the Filipinos are worth investing on.

Atty. Apollo X.C.S. Sangalang served as the guest speaker of the event. Atty. Sangalang, who took up economics in UPLB and earned his law degree in UP College of Law, is an expert in business law for 23 years, an accredited lecturer on labor law, and a broadcaster. He emphasized in his talk that “the Filipinos are worth investing on.”

The lawyer also said that making the country’s business environment more competitive is a long process, “Going into the right direction, education pa rin. I think yung sinabi ni Jose Rizal is true pa rin up to this day. Education is the key. In terms of skills, talent, know-how, (and) technology, advanced tayo pero parang kulang eh. Wala tayong ownership, in other words nationalism and patriotism. Yun ang nawawala sa atin, that fire to make our country developed. Parang kanya-kanya.”

First time to witness the annual convention as an Econ Soc alumnus, he said he is happy to learn that Econvergence is leveling up with the increasing number of teams and participants every year“(Participants) should look at this event and other similar events as opportunities to invest on themselves. It’s not just about the competition, it’s about personal development,” Atty. Sangalang added.

The competitions in the event include EKONOMIKA Quiz Contest, Intellectual Encounter Debate Competition, essay writing competition, poster making competition, impromptu speaking competition, mini-documentary presentation contest, and photo essay competition.

Rio Ysabel A. Cañal, a senior student from PSHS Main campus, felt nervous and excited on her first Econvergence experience. “We’re prepared for it and it’s nice to see that there is a great effort on the organizer’s part,” Cañal said.

Eventually, Cañal’s team brought home the second place in the quiz contest. PSHS Main campus also seized the crown as the over-all champion this year. The winners in all the categories of the event are as follows:

EKONOMIKA Quiz Contest

  • 1st place – Philippine Science High School Main Team B
  • 2nd place – Philippine Science High School Main Team A
  • 3rd place – De La Salle University Integrated School Team B

 Intellectual Encounter Debate Competition

  • 1st place – Ateneo de Manila High School Team A
  • 2nd place – Ateneo de Manila High School Team C
  • 3rd place – Ateneo de Manila High School Team B

Essay Writing Competition

  • 1st place – Colegio San Agustin – Biñan and Philippine Science High School Main Team B
  • 2nd place – University of the Philippines Rural High School Team A and St. Louis College-Valenzuela
  • 3rd place – Los Baños National High School, St. Andrew’s School-Parañaque City, and University of Batangas Team A

Poster Making Competition

  • 1st place – Dingras National High School – Ilocos Norte
  • 2nd place – University of Batangas Team A
  • 3rd place – Philippine Science High School Main Team B and St. Louis College – Valenzuela

Impromptu Speaking Competition

  • 1st place – St. Andrew’s School-Parañaque City
  • 2nd place – De La Salle University Integrated School Team B
  • 3rd place – De La Salle University Integrated School Team A

Mini-Documentary Presentation Contest

  • 1st place – University of the Philippines Rural High School Team A
  • 2nd place – Colegio San Agustin – Biñan
  • 3rd place – Dingras National High School

Photo Essay Competition

  • 1st place – Los Baños National High School
  • 2nd place – University of Batangas Team A
  • 3rd place – Colegio San Agustin – Biñan

Over-all Champion

  • 1st place – Philippine Science High School Main Team B
  • 2nd place – Philippine Science High School Main Team A
  • 3rd place – Colegio San Agustin-Biñan

Teachers with Econ Soc members actively participate in the interactive game facilitated by Mr. Baldovino for the Economic Teachers’ Convention (ETC).

Mr. Harvey Baldovino, instructor from the Department of Economics facilitated a training-workshop in the Economics Teachers Convention (ETC) to enhance the strategies of the participating teachers from the different schools in teaching economics in their respective classes.

First time to attend the Econvergence, Mr. Joel Saladin, an economics teacher from Dingras National High School, travelled 14 hours from Ilocos Norte to Los Baños. “I like the concept of this convention because it will expose the students with different economic concepts which I presume cannot be totally learned in the four walls of the classroom,” Saladin said. He also commended the organizers for holding such an event.

The Department of Education (DepEd) officially endorsed the activity which was also sponsored by the Department of Economics-UPLB, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), and The Manila Bulletin.

 

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