Light from saltwater/Olmeda book awarded
FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) - November 25, 2015 - 9:00am

Government is awash with idle funds – with the P168.9 billion Malampaya royalties as the biggest – which could bankroll the development and mass production of the Sustainable Alternative Light or SALt lamps, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph  Recto said.

SALt lamps were developed by  Aisa Mijeno, an engineer. The lighting system doesn’t require electricity, batteries or even fuel to run. All it needs are two basic and natural things: salt and water.

Government has enough money to support the production of these saltwater lamps, the senator said. There’s no need to seek a budget from Congress because some of these funds can be tapped without having to go through the annual appropriations route, like the Malampaya royalty remittances, or the government’s share from the production of the Malampaya natural gas field off the coast of Northern Palawan. The fund posted an outstanding balance of P168.9 billion as of May 31, 2015.

Next year, Malampaya remittances are projected to hit P34.7 billion. “This means on a daily basis, Malampaya is pumping P91.7 million into the government coffers,” Recto said.

 Government’s “daily windfall alone is more than enough” to finance the development of SALt’s full potential, Recto said.

“If reports are true that P20 million is what the developers initially need to jumpstart the lamp’s production, then just six hours’ worth of Malampaya would be enough,” Recto said.

One saline solution-powered lamp, which can produce up to 90 lumens of light, is said to cost $20, plus $3 every six months for the replacement anode.

Aside from Malampaya proceeds, Recto said the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)’s P19.1 billion budget for 2016 features “grants to technology startups, assistance to inventors.”

The Department of Energy (DOE) will also receive P2.84 billion to bring electricity to 3,150 hard-to-reach households, according to a Department of Budget Management (DBM) briefer.

On top of this, the DOE would also energize 5,400 households in off-grid sitios.

Aisa Mijeno had worked in the IT industry until 2008, when she quit to pursue her desire to do volunteer work. She applied for the position of direct dialogue campaigner (DDC) at the non-government organization Greenpeace Philippines and lived off her savings. At Greenpeace, she was exposed to the living conditions of poor families in rural areas, and came out with the idea of having SALtwater lamps provide the families’ lighting needs.

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Our congratulations to Bettina Rodriguez-Olmedo, whose book, The Adventures of a PR Girl published by Anvil Publishing Inc., has won   the 34 National Book Award of the Year in the professionals category. The Award recognizes the best books written, designed, and published in the Philippines in 2014.

The awarding ceremonies will be held at the old Senate session hall of the National Museum on Padre Burgos Avenue, at Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila, on Dec. 5, at 5 p.m.

The NBAY is an annual project undertaken by the Manila Critics Circle in partnership with the National Book Development Board with the objective of developing and supporting the Philippine book publishing industry. The MCC is a non-profit, non-stock organization of professional literary critics and newspaper columnists who believe that books published in the Philippines deserve more attention and wider readership.

The Adventures of a PR Girl is a narrative of the real-life experiences of Olmedo, a PR professional, in a career spanning over a period of close to four decades – from 1967 to 2005. It describes some of the country’s most successful PR projects in which the author conceptualized and executed communications campaigns, including the Miss Caltex contest, the Philippine Jaycees’ “Ten Outstanding Young Men” (TOYM), and the ground-breaking forum series between educators and “presidentiables” during the election years of 1992 and 1998.

These projects illustrate the principles of strategic planning as well as the most efficient and effective way of communicating the client’s message to its target publics – the consumer, the media, the community, and the general public – through the creative use of PR tools, including special events, mainstream publicity, collaterals and community outreach projects.

Aside from being a memoir, the book is also a basic primer on PR, being highly informative and instructive.  It is, likewise, a valuable document on social history, describing the evolution of the values, norms, beliefs, traditions, and mores of Philippine society over a period of four-and-a-half decades – from the 1950s all the way to the new millennium.

Bettina  graduated from St. Theresa’s College Manila with AB and BSE degrees, both summa cum laude. She had a meaningful career in public relations, working at Philippine Advertising Counselors, two of the country’s leading hotels, and the Fund for Assistance to Private Education. She is the widow of the acclaimed artist, the late Onib Olmedo. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.

The book is  available at National Book Store and Powerbooks in Metro Manila and key cities in Luzon. It is also available online. Call Anvil at 4774752.

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Parents dread the rainy season for good reason. From common flu viruses to the much-dreaded dengue disease, the wet season brings in a variety of germs, viruses, and bacteria that often hit individuals with a weak immune system — kids included.

In June, the Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public to take simple health precautions to ward off sicknesses common at this time of the year, such as dengue fever and influenza, commonly known as the flu.

DOH spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy told reporters in an interview, “Influenza is really difficult to prevent because we won’t know who actually has it…because a simple cough or cold could actually be the flu already.” Flu, which is highly contagious, usually peaks during the rainy season.

With this health concern, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (PCH) urges the public, most especially the parents, to protect their kids from these types of diseases by boosting their resistance.

“Safeguarding your child’s immune defenses is the first step to making sure that they stay healthy. Practicing good hygiene and ensuring a clean surrounding where children can play and be active are also important,” advised Dr. Egbert Dorado, pediatrician and senior medical manager at PCH.

One of the most effective ways to protect children from illnesses is by strengthening their immune system by giving them multivitamins that would further help meet their nutritional needs.

PCH recommends boosting a child’s immune system through trusted brands like the multivitamins Children’s Clusivol, Advil for fever relief, Incremin for iron deficiency, and Robikids, Dimetapp, and Loviscol for cough and colds.


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