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There’s light in a plastic bottle

/ 09:49 AM November 24, 2013

FOR villages still without electric power, plastic bottles can be turned into household light bulbs.

“Solar night lights,” a simple technology being promoted for calamity-hit communities, costs P550 to P600 to make, said Joel Villanueva, director-general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) yesterday.

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The device uses solar panels, rechargeable batteries, plastic tubing, ordinary wires, PVC pipes and LED bulbs, encased in a plastic bottle.

Villanueva encouraged local governments and private firms to help promote this simple invention by students of the University of Sto. Tomas.

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“The light will last for about 8 to 10 hours. So this can help people in areas where electricity hasn’t been restored yet,” Villanueva said.

To help calamity victims get back on their feet, he said Tesda can also provide skills training for carpentry, masonry, and electrical installation and maintenance as well as emergency employment.

The program will begin within the week with the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole).

It will be first rolled out in Bohol which was heavily damaged by an earthquake last Oct. 15 and in Bantayan island, Cebu, where supertyphoon Yolanda struck hardest in Nov. 8.

Villanueva spoke in a press conference at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City, the biggest repacking site of relief goods for typhoon victims in the Visayas.

He said Tesda will send construction materials like hollow blocks, cement, and roofing materials to help affected families rebuild their homes.

In Bantayan island, Tesda will rebuild at least seven houses and at least 40 houses in Bohol. Each house will cost P70,000. /Reporter ADOR VINCENT S. MAYOL

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