by Nancy N. Allen
Another historic milestone for MSU-IIT took place on February 16, 2007 at the Jose Rizal University in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, when the MSU-IIT team composed of College of Engineering (BS ECE) students Roel F. Pantonial and Ruel B. Valencia, with SET coach Prof. Cesar S. Gabo grabbed the National Champion title at the 4th Siemens National Finals PLC Programming Contest. Awards for this victorious feat included a P 300,000.00 worth 5 units S7-200 PLC from Siemens for MSU-IIT as the winning school, P 25,000.00 for both the student winners, and a P 28,000.00 training package and a Siemens cell phone for the team coach.
Five prestigious schools competed for the event, yet U.P. Diliman, the two-time consecutive Champion for the 2004/2006 National Finals ranked only first runner-up, while the University of San Jose Recoletos, Cebu City, was second runner-up. Other participant schools included the University of the East, Bulacan State University, and the University of Perpetual Help-Laguna. The quizmaster for the event was the Siemens Training Manager of the Automation and Drive Division, Mr. Joselito Torres, who also assisted by Siemens PLC representatives Rod Go, Rey Atienza and Princess Caraan.
“This was a tough event for the MSU-IIT team,” says Prof Gabo, “considering they had to beat the two-time National Champion which was U.P. Diliman. But our students were far better in programming this time since they solved 3 programming questions out of 4, compared to U.P. which solved only 1.” The recent contest design consisted of 20 objective questions each worth 1 point and 4 programming questions each worth 5 points. Overall, MSU-IIT scored 25 points while U.P. got 20 points, a really quite narrow edge-over.
It should be noted that MSU-IIT has been the indefatigable Regional Champion for Mindanao since 2003 but in the National Finals, it had to climb its way up from 6th place in 2003, to 5th place in 2004, to 2nd place in 2006 and now in 2007, as first. Indeed, the time has come for MSU-IIT to be “first” in the National Finals round. A well deserved “first” now, and hopefully, it will stay that way for a long time.