SOME local inventions probably have been stacked idle in cabinets untouched for years if their inventors possessed only the ingenuity to create them, but did not have the money to produce the products and market them.
Not a few inventions might have remained only ideas years after these have been registered with the Intellectual Property Office of the Bureau of Patents, an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Some could have been sold not necessarily to the highest bidders, but to entrepreneurs who had the capital to make them commercially feasible.
To some inventors, a DOST registration would have been enough recognition for their talents. But to the country, the DOST’s certification that such and such inventions belong to so-and-so inventors should have reached and benefited more Filipinos. Unluckily for many inventors, they would remain unrewarded and the fruits of their years of researches and experiments untapped for economic applications.
DOST officials know that most Filipino inventors lack the financial capability to turn their inventions or utility models into small business. They also understand their plight, because they themselves have their own limitations. DOST does not have enough funds to finance inventions.
A story would illustrate the government’s neglect of science. Many years ago during the administration of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, officials of the Ministry of Science and Technology began a press conference with an apology to reporters that they could only offer them coffee and the press releases.
Of course, the media practitioners present understood. After all, they were attending a science press briefing and not a cocktail party sponsored by a business conglomerate.
The analysis here may be brief and not necessarily informative, because it intends only to emphasize a point: Who in this country still cares about science and Filipino inventors?
The question is asked because not even President Benigno Aquino 3rd had a good word for DOST officials and employees who work behind their desks scrutinizing inventions. Perhaps he has not been informed that the following day—which is Tuesday—after he delivered his State of the Nation Address, DOST would begin the celebration of Science Week.
Who among the 24 senators, more than 200 district and sectoral representatives have ever thought asking DOST officials if they had projects that would qualify for funding by their pork barrel or countryside development funds?
Sorry to say Mr. Angelo Palmones would be alone.
And determining the originality of an invention, which if approved gets a patent, or an innovation, which is a utility model, deserves a certification, takes time. Pete Monterola, who invented a utility model for a “gas reducer anti-pollution device” filed for a certification in 2005 and got it in December 2010.
In experimenting on his gas reducer gadget, Monterola, who did not—and still does—not own a car, offered to install his invention in cars that are brought to him for maintenance. Car owners who agreed reported to him the defects of his gas reducer, enabling him to correct them.
Perhaps, Monterola, now 66 years old, is only one of many struggling inventors, who don’t have the logistics to commercially produce their inventions. So far, in less than three years, only a few of car owning clients have bought his gas reducer.
Incidentally, Monterola’s device, which he claims could save from 20 percent to 40 percent on gas consumption, is only one of a number gas savers in the market today. However, if others want to make one, they may not be able to copy his model, because the DOST certification gives him 10 years of exclusive ownership and marketing of his invention.
Since Monterola’s gas saver and anti-pollution device has been certified by the DOST after subjecting it to a series of tests, then its claim of at least 20-percent less gas usage could be true. Such savings would help car owners cut down their gas expenses.
With the fast-rising prices of gasoline, 20 percent to 40 percent would be a good saving. At P55 per liter of premium gasoline, the percentage would translate to P11 to P22.
But to those who are interested in making one, Alfredo M. Eliza Jr., a teacher at Carlos Hilado Memorial State College, a government-owned technical school in Negros Occidental, posted his study in the school’s website.
To those who doubt the effectiveness of gas savers, Eliza’s research is convincing enough. One of his experiments resulted in more than 10-percent savings in gas usage.
At the end of Eliza’s paper entitled Fuel Gas Saver and Anti-Pollution Device, is his bio-data which lists his credentials. A graduate of Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Education major in automotive technology.
With his inventive mind, the school must be proud to have him as a faculty member.