Davao inventors to ship coco oil to Korea
Subscribe Now September 20, 2013 at 08:03am
“We have long been asked by other countries to supply them with VCO, but we have not passed their standard since our product becomes rancid after sometime, but now, we have perfected the technology,” Virgilio M. Sangutan, Davao Inventors Association executive vice-president, said. The group is composed of around 40 active inventor-entrepreneurs.
VCO is the natural oil that comes from fresh coconut and requires proper mechanical extraction to reach export quality. It has health benefits and is highly in demand in various industries worldwide.
“This is where we have failed before, so we improved our process for the past three years and succeeded only now,” Mr. Sangutan said.
According to him, VCO is highly in demand in South Korea because it is used in the Korean cosmetics industry. Within two months, he said, the inventors’ group is set to send an initial one container van or an estimated 10 metric tons of VCO to South Korea.
“Our customer has already placed an order for the VCO, which we will send by November this year,” Mr. Sangutan said.
A liter of VCO here can cost up to P200, he added.
Romeo Montenegro, Mindanao Development Authority director for investments and promotion, said that copra remains Mindanao’s top dollar earner, with a 21.26% share of the island’s total exports, as of 2012.
Mr. Sangutan rued the lack of support from the government and said: “Mindanao’s inventors could accomplish more with enough support from TAPI.” The Technology Application and Promotion Institute is under the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) and was created in 1987, primarily to promote and market locally developed technologies.
Mr. Sangutan said that TAPI was very active in promoting local technologies during the time of DoST Secretary William G. Padolina (1994-1999).
However, TAPI does not have an office in Mindanao, and inventors have to go all the way to Manila when they need help, Mr. Sangutan said.
He also noted that, five years ago, DoST had an event for Mindanao inventors twice a year. Now, he said, that has been reduced to once every two years.
The local inventors’ group is set to conduct the Regional Inventors Contest and Exhibit on November 23, but DoST can only allot a P30,000 budget for it and will not pay for the venue, Mr. Sangutan said.
“Not once have we met with the new DoST Secretary (Mario G. Montejo) ever since he took over,” he also said.
The Davao inventors’ group, under its president, Dr. Randell U. Espina, is pushing for the passage of an ordinance that will establish the Davao City Research, Innovation and Livelihood Training Center to provide an alternative not only to aspiring inventors but also to other sectors.
“Once established, the Center will provide technical, innovation and commercialization support to the new graduates, the unemployed and the out-of-school youth,” Mr. Sangutan said.
He considers this a proactive approach as that Davao City is growing, and the population is increasing as people migrate here, creating unemployment.
“Our mindset is to look for a job after school, but this time we are training young people to look into the possibility of going into entrepreneurship,” he added.
Mr. Espina earlier said inventors also need training before they can avail of TAPI’s loan and patent applications.
He also said that inventors must also be entrepreneurs, so their ideas can become products needed by the market.
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