By Wyslly S. Ala

The Philippine flag is set to be raised worldwide as a new set of Filipino Inventors and Scientists conquers the global stage in the 49th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva (IEIG) to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, and is the world’s leading annual event devoted exclusively to invention, innovation, and the licensing market.  

This year, nine Filipino Inventors and Scientists will proudly represent the Philippines through the internationalization initiative of the Department of Science and Technology - Technology Application and. Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI). 

We get to know these Pinoy Inventors and Scientists whose innovations and inventions range from immediate treatment of traumatic injury, new types of flavored salt, eco-friendly textiles, multi-fuel dryer, sustainable sealant, agricultural water absorber, mobile water disinfection system, and a new breed of hydrogel for science-industry based usage. 


Maricar Carandang, a Chemistry graduate, serves as a Senior Science Research Specialist at DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI).  She is pioneering an innovative line of Flavor Salts infused with umami tastants extracted from seagrapes (known as “lato”), tiger prawn shrimp heads, and shiitake mushrooms, boasting reduced sodium content and devoid of added preservatives.  Her product aims to enhance the economic value of locally-sourced salts.


Engr. Prima Joy F. Margarito, a Chemical Engineer holding a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering, dedicates her entire career as a Senior Science Research Specialist at DOST-ITDI.  Her upbringing in a community reliant on shallow and deep wells for water inspired her to conduct research on a Mobile Water Disinfection System known as “SafeWaTrs”.  This innovative, locally-manufactured, mobile, compact, and energy-efficient system aims to assist rural and disaster-affected communities in producing safe drinking water during emergencies or crises.


Lorna S. Relleve, now in her 30th year at the DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI), holds the role of Senior Science Research Specialist at the institution.  Setting herself apart in her field, Lorna devised Carboxymethyl Hyaluronic Hydrogels (CMHA), a range of hydrogels crafted for diverse biomedical applications, leveraging their biocompatibility to enhance wound healing, tissue regeneration, and drug delivery by retaining moisture in the body.  What distinguishes this innovation further is its chemical additive-free preparation and its readiness at ambient temperature.


Charito T. Aranilla, alongside Lorna, serves as a Scientist 1 at DOST-PNRI, boasting a Master’s Degree in Chemistry and pursuing a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering.  Together, they pioneered a groundbreaking Super Water Absorbent Technology tailored for agricultural use as a soil water retainer.  This innovation aims to enhance irrigation efficiency, reduce plant mortality rates, optimize fertilizer retention in soil, and boost plant growth rate and drought resilience.  Notably, Charito and Lorna's technology is biodegradable and demonstrates efficacy even in challenging soil conditions.

Conversely, Charito, who has been immersed in various scientific disciplines since childhood, has spearheaded the development of a novel hemostat technology. This technology utilizes biocompatible, natural water-soluble polymers with the goal of effectively managing excessive bleeding in patients. It demonstrates rapid clotting capabilities upon immediate application without causing damage to the wound site or inducing a burning sensation. This not only enhances patient comfort but also contributes to increased survivability rates.


Professor Zaldy A. Fernandez, an esteemed academician, holds the position of Associate Professor IV at Mariano Marcos State University.  Currently pursuing his Doctorate in Technological Education Management, his research interests predominantly revolve around this field.  The convergence of drying and baking functionalities using diverse fuel or heat sources sparked Prof. Zaldy's ingenuity in crafting a Multi-Fuel Dryer capable of processing a wide range of products.  This innovation caters to various items such as fish, vegetables, fruits, rice, corn, tobacco, root crops, apparel, roasted meats (pig or chicken), and traditional delicacies.  Recognized for its excellence, this innovation secured the 2022 NICE award, targeting MSMEs to offer alternative techniques for product processing.


Engr. Mark Kennedy E. Bantugon, hails from the agricultural hub of Batangas, Philippines.  He holds a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and a Master’s in Materials Science and Engineering by Research.  Raised by a local farmer and a public school teacher, Engr. Bantugon stands as the inventor and founder of Pili Seal, a groundbreaking Pili Tree Resin utilized as sealants and flame retardants. Recognized as a winning NICE innovation, this product ingeniously repurposes discarded materials to formulate sustainable sealants and adhesives, ensuring affordability, safety, and minimal environmental impact on the user's health and surroundings.


Capping off this year’s lineup of Filipino Innovators and Inventors at the 49th IEIG is the DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute, set to unveil two eco-friendly products. Among them are the Lyocell/Natural Textile Fiber Blended Yarns and Spinnable Lignocellulosic Bamboo Textile derived from Bambusa philippinensis.  These textile innovations represent environmentally-conscious materials of high value, suitable for fashion, home textiles, and industrial applications, all while significantly reducing the carbon footprint.


The Filipino Inventors and Innovators and their participation in the 49th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva (IEIG) was facilitated by the DOST-Technology Application and Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI).  DOST-TAPI is dedicated to showcasing innovative technologies developed and endorsed by the DOST on a global stage.  Its mission extends to fostering collaborations with international partners and investors to explore licensing and commercialization prospects.

 The 49th IEIG is scheduled to take place from April 17th to April 21st, 2024, in Geneva, Switzerland.