/ 16 March 2023

A GRADE 8 student and two teachers of the Timoteo Paez Integrated School in Balut, Tondo, Manila bagged awards for their invention that uses plastic and hair to create cement blocks.

John Paul Ralloma, teacher Ma. Socorro Lozano and TPIS School head Sonny Valenzuela invented “HAIRPLASTICBLOCK: Pavement Block using Low Density Polyethylene Plastic and Human Hair Waste as Alternative Aggregates,” a type of cement block that can be used to make roads. It is formed by combining refined used plastic bags, hair and cement.

The trio bagged the Bronze Award from the National Research Council of Thailand for their invention. They also received a Special Award of Excellence Invention Plaque from Kemeterian Pendidikan Malaysia and a diploma of Special Award from Poland-based Haller Pro Invention Foundation.

Ralloma said that they came up with the invention to help their community in Tondo.

“Growing up po, tinatanong ko na po talaga sa parents ko paano nadi-dispose yung mga basura. We came up with this invention para na rin po makatulong dito sa community namin sa Balut, Tondo, which is near the Smokey Mountain,” Ralloma said.

Lozano also said that their goal is to lessen the garbage in the community.

“Ang goal namin, makatulong sa pagbawas ng garbage dito sa ating kapaligiran, at the same time, nakikita rin namin ‘yong potential nitong project na ito. It could be mass-produced, pwede itong makatulong sa mga community,” the teacher said.