Mapúa University alumnus, climate diplomat and scientist Glenn Banaguas was named as one of this year’s The Outstanding Filipino (Tofil) awardees for his exemplary contributions in environment conservation and science diplomacy.
The Tofil award was conceived in 1988 by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) to institutionalize public recognition of men and women, 41 years age and over, whose exemplary achievements were worthy of emulation.
Banaguas, one of the “six nation-builders” honored by the JCI on Monday, has been providing progressive researches to various provinces and local government units (LGUs) to help them incorporate climate science in their development programs.
The Mapúa chemical engineering alumnus was recognized along with five other awardees — San Miguel Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon Ang (business and entrepreneurship), Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal (government/public service), Dr. Joselito Chavez (medicine), Virgilio Malang (science and technology) and Nelly Siababa-Aggangan (agriculture).
“Research is my life. I have been conducting research for free, donating my salary to bring science and policy to the communities. It is a covenant and commitment to save them from the wrath of climate crises and disaster risks,” Banaguas said.
Banaguas founded the Environmental and Climate Change Research Institute in 2010 where he started the Climate Smart and Disaster Resilient Philippines program to promote science diplomacy and scientific capacity building especially to the marginalized sector.
With his team of researchers, he also extends information on climate change to cultivate disaster resiliency.
“I think it has been my gift to laymanize and translate terms into a language that even the local people understand. I personally believe that because it’s not just about communicating, but also assuring that the people grasp the information and act upon it,” he added.
The program already reached out to more than 500 LGUs; 200 universities and colleges; 200 civil society organizations and nongovernment organizations; and 200 members of the private sector.
“For me these are not enough because the Philippines has 135 cities; 1,493 municipalities; 81 provinces; and 42,000 barangays. I haven’t gone to other places yet, so, I’m aiming to accomplish all of them,” he said.
Currently, Banaguas is the chair of Asean Science Diplomats, a group of engineers and scientists in the Association of Southeast Asia Nations, providing trainings on science-based policymaking and policy development.
He is also a professor in Enrique T. Yuchengco School of Business and Management, Mapúa University, teaching Environmental Management System.