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Science and Environment

Barbalite sees safer nighttime roads

Rainier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A Philippine National Police (PNP) general and part-time award-winning inventor wants his world-class invention – a solar powered illuminating road marker – to be not only 100 percent Filipino designed and developed, but also locally manufactured and assembled.

Chief Superintendent Percival Gammad Barba, 55, said that while his “Barbalite” solar-powered road pavement light stud that provides a reflectorized guide for motorists on the dividing lane on roads was fully designed by him, it was made abroad from materials mostly coming from Japan and Taiwan.

“My dream is to manufacture these locally,” Barba, currently deputy director of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said.

“Right now, we don’t have the capability to assemble here,” Barba said, citing lack of capital.

However, Barba said that he will be retiring from the police service this December when he turns 56, which means he can focus on the mass production and marketing of Barbalite and look for enough venture capital.

Barba won for the country a much-coveted gold medal in the British Invention Show held in London last year with his Barbalite.

Barbalite Technologies, established by Barba in Capas, Tarlac in 1987, was also bestowed the Filipinnovation Award by the Department of Science and Technology for excellence in electronics in 2011, for the Barbalite.

Barba, a new recruit of the Filipino Inventors Society Producers Cooperative (FISPC), said that he thought of developing Barbalite when he served as Pangasinan provincial director in 2010 where the dark national and provincial roads made nighttime driving a hazard.

“I thought of developing a road safety device that will help motorists clearly see the road before them and their respective lane and also the lane of the oncoming vehicle from the opposite direction,” Barba said.

This was a challenge for him because his family residence was in Fairview, Quezon City and he regularly went on long drives late at night.

Barba says the road marker gathers energy during the day and stores it in the battery. At night, the LED flashes and guides motorists.

Barba received a patent and copyright from the Intellectual Property Office for his invention, which also passed the rigid standards of the Department of Public Works and Highways. The invention also received international certification from SGS, a global testing company.

A PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE BARBA BARBALITE BARBALITE TECHNOLOGIES BRITISH INVENTION SHOW CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT PERCIVAL GAMMAD BARBA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FILIPINNOVATION AWARD FILIPINO INVENTORS SOCIETY PRODUCERS COOPERATIVE
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