By: Lawrence San Diego

Imagine a technology that can transform water from different sources—lakes, rivers, springs, deep wells, and even rain—into water that is clean and safe to drink for everyone, everywhere.

Good thing this technology is already a reality and now available in the Philippines, thanks to Rodrigo Duque and his award-winning innovation. 

Duque’s invention—the portable unihoused water purification and sterilization apparatus—promises to be a game-changing solution to the country’s problems in water access, distribution, and quality, especially for communities in need of safe drinking water.

Filtered, Sterilized, and Tested

Duque’s invention harnesses the combination of different technologies to eliminate impurities from unsafe water.

The system uses special filters that can get rid of all kinds of contaminants, such as chemicals, heavy metals, and suspended solids, while also removing turbidity from the water and making it clearer. “These filters can last for one or two years, unlike traditional filters in the market that can clog easily and are hard to backwash,” Duque said. “In this system, the filters stay clean and last longer just by backwashing, so the water stays clean as well.”

The filtered water then goes through a sterilization process that uses both ozone and ultraviolet rays to disinfect all remaining contaminants.  The system can process up to 200 liters of water every hour, depending on the turbidity of the water source.

“The water that comes out of the system is already potable and very high in oxygen,” he said. “It has passed all physical and chemical tests, as well as bacteriological tests.  The results were even better compared to tap water from the faucet,” Duque claimed. “That is why I am confident that the water it produces is safe.”

Water for Everyone, Everywhere

What makes Duque’s technology unique from conventional water treatment systems is its portability.  His invention is housed in a waterproof carrying case and can be powered by a 12-volt car battery, making it a practical choice for supplying clean water in remote areas without electricity.

From the start, Duque designed his technology to be deployed in situations where safe drinking water will be needed the most, particularly for humanitarian purposes.

“Water supply can often be a problem in areas hit by disasters like typhoons or earthquakes. Drinking water could take some time to arrive in affected communities,” he explained.  “That is why I developed my invention as a way to provide clean water to people in evacuation centers.  It can also prevent water-borne diseases in these areas.”

Duque envisions his technology being used in every town, city, and barangay as an important component of a disaster response program for communities.

“Imagine if all local government units, down to the barangay halls, will have this kind of unit.  Not only will they have their own supply of drinking water, but they can also deploy the unit readily to their evacuation centers, or in areas hit by outbreaks of diseases, like cholera,” he said.

“This is also something that can benefit our military in the field.  They can load a unit in one of their trucks and use the water from the mountains and rivers to produce clean drinking water for a whole battalion.”

Award Winning

Duque’s technology was born at a time when he retired from his lifelong career as a corporate executive to finally pursue his passion to invent solutions that can help underserved communities.

Throughout his invention journey, he found a reliable partner at the Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).  Through the different programs of DOST-TAPI that provide support to Filipino inventors, Duque received funding to further develop the initial prototypes of his invention, as well as assistance to secure intellectual property protection for his system.

TAPI then encouraged Duque to join various contests so he can showcase his invention to more people, including potential partners.  In 2018, his technology won the top prize in both Regional and National Invention Contest and Exhibits organized by TAPI. 

This success automatically qualified him to represent the Philippines at the 2019 International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland, where his technology earned a bronze medal and praise from participants from all over the world.

“There were a lot of inventors and exhibitors who visited our booth, and they were very interested in our technology,” Duque said. 

“One from South America asked if it could clean river water from the Amazon, while another one from the Middle East wanted to use it to purify water from deep wells in their deserts,” he added. “There was a lot of positive feedback, and some even said it was the best invention they have seen in the exhibition.”

His invention’s winning streak continued back home year after year.  It bagged first place at the 2020 Socially Relevant Technologies competition by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, second place at the 2021 Philippine Water Challenge by the United States Agency for International Development, and Most Promising Invention in the health category at the 2022 Inventor’s Pitch competition by the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Socially Relevant Invention

Duque’s participation in invention contests indeed opened new opportunities to introduce his technology and his company—Ozone Dynamic Ventures—and to bring his innovation to where it will be needed the most.

“Many people from different parts of the country approached me and said that this technology is what they need so they can supply healthy and safe drinking water to their constituents,” he shared.

Buoyed by the strong interest in his technology, Duque and Ozone Dynamic Ventures are now setting their sights on working with the government and potential investors to help fabricate more units of his system and bring a socially relevant invention to more communities in the country.

“The government will be a good market for this technology, because I know that agencies like NDRRMC, DSWD, and DILG are looking for projects that can benefit our fellow Filipinos,” he explained.

“This is also a proper time for investors and funders to join us in this initiative, so we can work together in helping a lot of people.”

Curious to learn more about the portable unihoused water purification and sterilization apparatus? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to send your inquiries or to get in touch with inventor Rodrigo Duque.