When reports about the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country exploded in media, various government offices and private companies have started looking for local entities that could help sanitize their establishments from possible virus contamination.
They found one—and this is the story of how a good foresight of a former government official and his young son helped a lot in sanitizing the potential infection ground of the fatal virus.
Tim Orbos, former head of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, said that at the time when news of massive infection of new strain of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome corona virus was first reported in Wuhan in China, he had somehow entertained the possibility that it will eventually spread in the nearby countries that include the Philippines.
Orbos said he first discussed his idea with his son Gio about available technology that could be tapped for massive decontamination process.
“People then were not really interested even if the virus was spreading so fast in China. But I knew it was just a matter of time,” said Orbos.
His son thought that the idea was brilliant and volunteered to do the research on technology and methodology on how it could be done under one condition—his father would do the financing for he does not have enough money.
So sometime in January after the news about the virus outbreak in China came out, Orbos formed the Sanitary Anti-Viral Entry Point or Savepoint.
“Savepoint is a technology which uses ultra-fine microns of water to repel insects, dusts, smoke, and pollen. It is also known for introducing market innovations such as disinfecting cannons and decontamination tents,” said Orbos who also used to be the General Manager of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA).
Orbos said Savepoint uses misting machines, equipment, decontamination tents with local assemblers and distributors.
Orbos said their first client was the City Government of San Juan where reports of infection was reported inside a mall.
Since then, Savepoint has been commissioned to other hot zones where other sanitation companies were either apprehensive or ill-equipped to go.
Among the many offices and establishments it has served since the announcement of the first COVID-19 case were the Office of the President, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Social Welfare and Development, MMDA, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, several LGUs in nearby provinces and, just recently, DOH hospitals nationwide. It also serves the private sector namely: SM group, Ortigas group, and First Holdings.
The technology also brought in other strategic partners such as young telecommunications and information technology entrepreneurs Jojo Madatu and Konrad Chua, and logistics king, Alberto Lina.
While Orbos readily admits that these were all copied from Wuhan, he said that it is more important to follow protocols set by the international health authorities.
“What is important is we follow the strict protocol and the guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization on disinfecting and decontamination while our disinfectants are in the list of the US Environmental Protection Agency on chemicals that combat COVID-19 and similar to the ones exercised as well by the Singapore Ministry of Health,” he said.
Orbos also took pride that Savepoint is providing jobs for some individuals who are otherwise unemployed at this time when work is suspended due to the enhanced community quarantine.
From an initial team of 10, the group has now grown into a 200-person strong work force.
He said they will soon operate in Cebu, Davao and Clark. Talks are also in progress on replication of the Savepoint technology in other countries.
Orbos said that it’s time to invest in decontaminating technologies as the viruses won’t be gone anytime soon.
“Whether we like it or not, the dangers of COVID-19 and other viruses will be here to stay. Disinfecting our environment and protecting our way of life will now be our new normal,” he said.