Ran out of batteries in the middle of an important call while away from home?  No need to fret because you can charge your phone in the nearest convenience store that has i-charj.

i-charj is a digital coin operated mobile phone charger that works much like a vending machine which can now be found in major establishments in the metropolis.  All you need is to drop a five-peso coin in the machine, and you can charge your phone worry-free for 10 minutes!


The digital coin operated mobile phone charger is a product of Xcellcomms Enterprises which is into electronics manufacturing, inventions and innovative products.  Engr. Aquilino A. Tubigan, Jr., manager and proprietor of Xcellcomms, invented i-charj which won him the Gold Medal for Telecommunications in the 2008 Invention and New Products Exposition.

Engr. Tubigan says that he owes part of the success of his enterprise to the Department of Science and Technology-Technology Application and Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI).  Xcellcom availed of a loan from TAPI under the Invention Based Enterprise Development Program amounting to P 570,000 payable in three years.  The money was used to produce 33 i-charj machines.

Prior to the loan, Xcellcomms only had 200 charger sites available and had difficulty in expansion.  Now, the company has around 1,000 sites and new products, such as the i-surf, which allows one to surf the net, and the i-call, which allows one to make a call by dropping coins into the machines.  The business is now ready to expand to Visayas and Mindanao.

Invention Based Enterprise Development (IBED) is just one of the programs of Invention Development Division (IDD) of TAPI.  IBED supports Filipino inventors in developing their inventions into enterprise commodities to make these available to consumers.

Through the program, TAPI finances the pilot production, granting inventors funds to purchase or fabricate the equipment needed to manufacture the invented technologies. TAPI also provides free consultation services to market test the product, develop the operational systems, and promote it.

Inventors who wish to avail of the program must meet the following criteria: a Filipino citizen with good moral character; in good health and not more than 60 years old or if more than 60 years old, he/she should assign a co-project implementer with equal responsibility of the project; and must have good credit standing and no outstanding obligation to TAPI. 

The program also requires that the business already started with the invention as the main product line, the company is Filipino-owned and registered in the Philippines, the invention must already be patented, and there should be a working commercial model for the invention as basis for production.

Interested inventors must submit their application letter to DOST-TAPI together with certified true copy of Letters Patent, business plan, plan layout and process flow of production process, business registration and breakdown of budgetary requirements.

Written by: Luisa Lumioan   
Friday, 30 March 2012 08:22