PWDs in Davao eye new business venture

Subscribe Now April 22, 2014 at 08:35am

Consumers may look at the "Liter of Light" project as a cheap alternative source of light, but for the 4,000 members of the Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) Federation of Davao City, the project provides more than that.

“[The project] is another opportunity for us not only to earn extra income, but also to help other people especially those in the boondocks who have no electricity,” Teogenes S. Comiling, president of the group, said.

Mr. Comiling led the first batch of 27 PWDs who were trained by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority on how to create solar-powered light using 1.5-liter plastic bottles.

With a capital of P150 for each light, the PWDs could sell them at P400. The PWDs are hoping local government units would order light units from them for distribution to areas that still do not have electricity.

Mr. Comiling said at a charging time of only six hours, the lights can be used for three nights, or up to 36 hours. It is a good investment because at such an affordable price, the light can last for up to six years, he explained.

He said those who are interested to get the lights can ask the City Social Services and Development Office since the agency is providing initial capital for the project. Liwayway A. Caligdong, social services assistant department chief, said the city plans to train other residents with disabilities to provide them an alternative livelihood.

Ms. Caligdong said a unit of Liter of Light is easy to assemble. It also needs easy-to-find materials so the PWDs and poor neighborhoods who do not have enough capital can easily start a small business venture, she added.

The Liter of Light is a global movement that aims to provide a sustainable alternative source of light for households that could not afford expensive power or do not have access to electricity.

A typical unit emits the same intensity of a 55-watt light bulb but unlike the original Liter of Light product, which can only be used during daytime, the new product can be used even during nighttime.

My Shelter Foundation, headed by Illac A. Diaz, introduced the much-improved Liter of Light project in the Philippines with a solar panel attachment that allows its use even at night.

The foundation sent people to the city last year to train residents of remote villages on the assembly of the upgraded light bottles.

Mr. Diaz developed the Liter of Light project as a social enterprise in 2006 using the concept whereby locals are trained to assemble the lights, who in turn earn a small income from their projects. The project was started in San Pedro, Laguna.


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