‘Bottle bulbs’ to provide light to poor

Thursday, 14 April 2011

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim painted a bright green future for families living in one of the informal settlements in the city during the launching of community-based solar lighting project that benefited at least 120 make-shift homes.

Lim chose the Baseco area in the fifth district of Manila as the pilot area for the project where 120 households were provided with solar bottle bulbs.

Present in the launching of the “Isang Litro-The Solar Bottle Bulb Project” were city officials led by Lim and city engineer Armand Andres, Manila Police District Deputy Commander Alex Gutierrez and city councilors Josie Siscar and Nino dela Cruz, as well as officials from the Manila Electric Company led by senior vice president and head of customer retail services and corporate communication Alfredo Panlilio and My Shelter Foundation Inc. executive director Illac Diaz.

Lim said a lot of companies had been offering costly solar projects but Meralco presented a proposal that would cost only from P150 to P200 per home.

The mayor readily agreed to shoulder the expenses while Meralco will provide the concept.

He tapped the services of the department of public services under Carlos Baltazar and the city engineer’s office to help implement the project.

Lim explained that under the project, each home will enjoy solar-generated electricity at no cost to the occupant.

With this in place, Lim said the residents can now do away with using candles or kerosene lamps which only poses danger and the possibility of causing fire.

The mayor said that once the whole Baseco is covered, the other depressed communities in Tondo such as Parola, Isla Puting Bato and Happyland will follow suit.

Meralco said the use of solar bulbs will prevent the occurrence of accidents brought about by pilferage of electric power.

Under the system, each home will be installed with a solar bulb made from a two-liter plastic bottle filled with a solution of water, salt and chlorine that gather and amplify sunlight.

The bottle will act as lens and provide a tremendous amount of interior light equivalent to 55 watts during daytime, so that there is no more need to use electricity.