by Erman S. Marajas, COE&T
Junnel E. Cagampang and Gelmar A. Coniendo, BS in Industrial Automation and Mechatronics graduates of the Department of Industrial Automation and Control Engineering Technology (IACET) with Professor Cesar S. Gabo as coach won the bronze medal in Mechatronics in the recent 11th ASEAN Skills Competition (ASC) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on October 26-October 29, 2016.
This is the first time a national team won a medal in Mechatronics in the ASC. The MSU-IIT Mechatronics Team has been a national champion twice and has represented the country in the 8th ASC in Bangkok, Thailand and the 9th ASC in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The team came well prepared to the Kuala, Lumpur tussle as they spent a month at Gold Camp 2 where all the regional winners in all trade areas underwent physical, emotional and psychological (PEP) training conducted by TESDA and the Philippine Army. Only those who survived after a thorough evaluation was qualified and could participate in the 2016 Philippine National Skills Competition (PNSC). The team made it to the PNSC and eventually won the gold medal in Mechatronics. Cagampang and Coniendo, 2016 School of Engineering Technology class valedictorian and salutatorian respectively, skipped this year’s 48th Commencement Exercises to compete in the PNSC and give honor to the Institute.
The team also underwent the rigorous training at Gold Camp 3 which includes another month long of PEP training by TESDA and technical training at FESTO Philippines in Metro Manila to prepare for the ASC competition where the best of ASEAN nations compete with the world skills standard.
In Kuala Lumpur, the MSU-IIT team competed against other ASEAN teams that have long experience in skills competition including the biennial World Skills Competition (WSC). The Philippines, though locally honed as compared to other teams, held its ground to win the bronze medal in Kuala Lumpur. The Philippine team scored 511 points based on 500 points scale used in World Skills competition and the score is only two points shy needed to win a gold medal. There was no silver medalist in Mechatronics during the recent ASC.