Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. expressed his frustrations over the government’s lack of support for Filipino inventors citing for instance the case of the maker of the internationally-acclaimed salt-powered lamp.
Marcos said Filipino inventors have been complaining in the past that they experience difficulty in trying to avail of incentives they are entitled to receive under the law. This drives them to find support outside the country, he said.
“We should be the first ones to benefit from the innovative creations of our inventors. Unless we give them adequate support we will always lose out from investors abroad who are always on the lookout for promising new products,” he said.
He called on the government to help the group of Filipina inventor Aisa Mijeno to realize her goal of mass producing the salt-water powered LED lamp.
“It is sad that the government has yet to provide support for Mijeno’s invention when both US President Barack Obama and Chinese billionaire Jack Ma of Alibaba had recognized the potential of the invention,” Marcos said.
Mijeno, CEO of SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) shared the stage with Obama and Ma at the Apec CEO Summit where Obama moderated a session after his speech on climate change. She said her group needed funding to produce the lamp on a commercial scale.
“SALt’s invention has gained international attention and earned various awards and it is puzzling why we have not seen any effort from the government to help bring this product of Filipino ingenuity to the market,” Marcos lamented.
The LED lamp can provide 8 hours of light powered only by a solution of water and two tablespoons of salt or plain seawater.
The senator noted that SALt’s invention which will provide a cheap and dependable source of light in many rural areas of the country where there is still no electricity will also give employment if mass produced here in the country.
At the very least, Marcos said concerned government agencies should take the initiative of reaching out to Mijeno’s group to inform them of the assistance they could avail of under RA 7459 or the Investors and Inventions Incentives Act.