Pinay scientist's SALt lamp coming to the market soon

Kathlyn dela Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 05 2016 05:08 PM

Aisa Mijeno, CEO, co-founder and inventor of SALt lamp. Handout photo

MANILA - Filipina scientist Aisa Mijeno's invention, a lamp that runs on saltwater, will be out on the market hopefully within the year, the engineer said Tuesday.

"Mukhang ngayon pong taon na ito mare-release na po yung lampara namin sa market. Ngayon po ay nasa production stage po kami," Mijeno said in an interview on radio dzMM.

"Based po sa aming projection ng timeline, hopefully po ma-release namin siya either second quarter or third quarter of this year."

Mijeno's SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lightning) lamp can run up to eight hours straight with just one glass of tap water and two tablespoons of salt, or simply ocean water.

Mijeno, a member of Greenpeace Philippines, first thought of making the SALt lamp during her personal immersion in Kalinga, where residents in the remote communities have to walk for six hours every other day just to get kerosene to power their lamps.

READ: All about Aisa Mijeno and her SALt lamp

According to Mijeno, they are now at the stage of mass-producing the lamps with the support of their local manufacturing company partner based in Biñan, Laguna.

She said they aim to produce 500 units per day, or about 15,000 units a month.

Their target is to sell each lamp unit for only less than P500, she said.

"Pinagaaralan pa rin po namin yung costing kasi magbe-base po siya sa cost ng raw materials and of course dun sa volume capacity. Kasi the higher the volume po mas bababa po yung presyo. Pero ang hini-hit po naming target to make it more effective, sana maibenta namin yung lampara under P500 para lahat po ay makaka-afford," she explained.

Mijeno said some entrepreneurs and retail stores have already reached out to them to help in the sale of the lamps. They will tap various foundations and organizations, on the other hand, in distributing the lamps to rural areas with no electricity.

"Yung mga rural areas na walang kuryente, ibibigay po namin sa kanila yung units for free. Wala po silang gagagastusin," she said. "Pero since nakikita rin po namin yung trend na even people from the city gusto po ng lamp as emergency device during typhoon, ilalabas rin po namin siya sa retail market. Marami po ang nagi-inquire sa amin para makipag-partner in terms of distributorship. May mga certain kilala rin pong retail stores na kumakausap sa amin."

WATCH: How Pinay engineer's saltwater lamp works

US President Barack Obama poses with Alibaba chairman Jack Ma (left) and entrepreneur Aisa Mijeno (right) as they take part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO summit in Manila. Saul Loeb, AFP

Mijeno said she is in constant talks with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Upon her completion of requirements, the DOST will shoulder the costs of the field testing of her invention before it will be released on the market.

She is also in coordination with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines for the swift processing of her application for patent, she said.

The Filipina scientist, meanwhile, also shared that US President Barack Obama sent her an e-mail expressing gratitude for her attendance at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in November last year.

Sharing the stage also with Alibaba chairman Jack Ma, Mijeno was heavily praised by Obama for her SALt lamp invention.

READ: White House invited Pinay scientist to APEC CEO Summit

"Meron po akong parang thank you e-mail from him na pinapasalamatan po kami na kami po ay pumayag dun po na makipanayam po sa kanya up onstage during the APEC CEO Summit," shared Mijeno.

"And he said dun sa email -- at natutuwa po kami -- na he was very thankful and appreciative of a meeting with -- may quotation po siya -- 'real people.' Nakakataba lang po ng puso," she added.

Mijeno said that they may also tap Jack Ma, who has given her his contact information, for help on the raw materials that they need for the mass production of the SALt lamp.