Technological Institute of the Philippines

T.I.P.ians place 3rd at Cybersecurity Conference 2020 Hackathon with sex trafficking prevention app

A group of Information Systems (IS) students from the Technological Institute of the Philippines (T.I.P.) Quezon City and their iSAFER sex trafficking prevention app took home bronze in the Cybersecurity Conference 2020 Hackathon organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Information Systems Security Association Philippine Chapter (ISSA Ph).

Created by T.I.P. IS students Aldrin Asama, Elisah Redonga, and Justine Triambulo under the guidance of T.I.P. IS faculty member Dr. Risty Acerado, iSAFER is a mobile application created to address the growing cases of online sex trafficking affecting women and young people in the country. It expedites the reporting to and calling of law enforcement authorities in times of harassments and emergencies.

In addition to placing third overall, the T.I.P. team also won the tourney’s Best Pitch Award.

“iSAFER” is designed to help its user in emergency situations where calling authorities might be difficult. The application has a button that alerts law enforcement authorities in times of emergency while also providing them the user's GPS location. It also simultaneously publishes a "panic post" and "panic tweet" on the user’s social media profiles to alert even more people.

Moreover, it has a quick-access siren button that creates a loud noise to alert people nearby. The button would also trigger an automatic video call to the law enforcement agency, with the video saved to a secure database for investigation efforts.

These helpful features of the iSAFER app also won the team the Best User Interface Award in the hackathon.

This strong third place showing from the T.I.P. IS students marks another notch in the school’s hackathon-winning ways. Most recently, T.I.P. computing students also placed third in the 2018 Philippine Programming Challenge Finals which took place last March 2019.

T.I.P. Information Systems Program Chair Dr. Roselia Morco noted, “Hackathons are significant in enhancing the analytical skills and problem-solving skills of our students. We joined this hackathon to challenge our IS students and let them realize that joining such competitions provides greater opportunities, including exposing them to new ideas and collaborations with industry practitioners and other professionals.”

In addition to the winning T.I.P. team, five other T.I.P. IS students presented at the conference. Jane Sulit, Ramon Christus Tomaquin, Erika Shaina Dizon, Mauee Samaniego, and Zachary Jatayna discussed how they used various web scraping and data mining tools—including Beautiful Soup, Google BigQuery, Data Studio, and Voyant—for their research projects for UNFPA and ISSA Ph. They received laptop units from the two organizations to help in their research endeavors.