Pointwest Offers Support for IOI Delegations in 2017

October 6, 2016

Leaders of Pointwest Technologies Corporation met with organizers of the National Olympiad for Informatics (NOI) and team members that participated in the International Olympiad for Informatics (IOI) last 11 August 2016 at Kazan, Russian Federation.

Held at the Pointwest Digital Center in Ortigas last 10 September 2016 over lunch, the gathering was meant to formally introduce NOI and its IOI representatives to Pointwest, who helped sponsor the team’s participation at the IOI 2016, and to discuss future commitments of the company to the group.

Ma. Cristina “Beng” Coronel, President of Pointwest, led the company’s delegation. Aside from Ms. Coronel, Pointwest was represented by Chona Ahorro, head of HR for Pointwest Global; Annalie Ventura, HR head for Pointwest Technologies; Mark Zavalla, Product Manager for Easimed, and; Sherwin Pelayo, head of Pointwest Labs and Digital Capability, who organized the meet-up.

A group photo of Pointwest leaders with the NOI contingent

Pointwest and the NOI contingent

Representing the NOI contingent were co-founder Martin Gomez, IOI 2016 Team Leader Kevin Atienza, coach Adrian Angeles, Sponsorships head Ma. Anne Tonette “Ton” Rivera, and Robin Yu of Xavier School, one of the Philippine Representatives to the just-concluded IOI.

The IOI is a yearly international contest for “competitive programming”, or an Olympics of coding. Participants are high school students from all over the world. It is the second-largest Olympiad after the International Mathematical Olympiad in terms of participating countries.

Support for IOI Delegations in the Future

Several issues were discussed by the group, but most important were about continued support for IOI delegations and the holding of the 2017 Nationals in order to select next year’s Representatives to IOI 2017 in Tehran, Iran. Ton Rivera told those gathered that NOI Philippines is looking to asking schools to help host the event.

Ms. Coronel offered the use of Pointwest’s UP-AyalaLand Technohub facility for the national finals, including the use of high-end computers and fast, reliable Internet for all participants. She also said that Pointwest’s IT specialists could augment NOI trainers for the Nationals. Ms. Ahorro suggested that maybe Pointwest could bring the issue of support up to its network, particularly the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA).

“All this support is well within Pointwest’s capabilities to give, and we are happy to provide such to the NOI. Developing Filipino IT talent is one of the primary advocacies of Pointwest, after all.”Beng Coronel, Pointwest President

“In fact, had we known about NOI and the IOI earlier, we could have helped more with this year’s efforts,” Ms. Coronel added, referring to Pointwest’s finding out about the IOI when Ms. Rivera approached the company for help in sending the NOI Philippines delegation to Kazan.

Photo of the meeting during lunch

A meeting over lunch at the Pointwest PLEX office

Ms. Rivera thanked Pointwest and Ms. Coronel for the generous support, and assured the company that its offer would be seriously taken up if the schools are unavailable to host the NOI Nationals. Kevin Atienza warmed up to the idea of more trainers for aspirants to the National Team, as he admitted that NOI volunteers get stretched thin during the selection phase.

Staff from the Office of Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, who chairs the Senate Committee on Education, were also present at the invitation of Pelayo in order to explore increased government support for the NOI.

The NOI asked the office of Sen. Aquino for help talking to DepEd and school administrators about the importance of the IOI, both for the country and the future careers of the representatives. Ms. Rivera was also hoping the NOI could get a grant, or at least an endorsement, from government for additional funding and support. The office of Sen. Aquino assured NOI that their concerns would be looked into.

The event was capped by a tour for the guests of Pointwest’s Digital Center and some discussions on recent trends in IT, especially on Design Thinking.


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