CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 3 (Central Luzon) has turned over unsinkable small watercraft (USW) to four local government units (LGUs) in this province that could help strengthen the preparedness and response efforts in times of calamity.
This is under the DOST’s Expanded Implementation of the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (eCEST) program.
DOST Provincial Director Leidi Mel Sicat said Friday the recipients were the provincial government of Nueva Ecija, and the municipal governments of Gabaldon, Pantabangan, and Licab.
Sicat said the USW would help boost the LGUs' disaster response in mitigating the challenges encountered during and after calamities, especially during flooding.
“Naging mahirap para sa Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction (and Management) Office (PDRRMO) - Nueva Ecija ay ang pag-rescue sa mga maliliit na eskinita na binabaha gamit ang mga malalaking kagamitan kaya sa pamamagitan ng bangkang ito ay mabilis nang makararating ang mga rescuer sa mga apektadong lugar (It is difficult for PDRRMO-Nueva Ecija to rescue in small alleys using big equipment. Thus, through the small watercraft, it would be faster for the rescuers to reach the affected areas),” she said in radio interview.
DOST-3 Director Julius Caesar Sicat said the initiative is part of their efforts to strengthen the disaster rescue and relief capabilities of vulnerable communities in Central Luzon through the adoption of locally developed disaster risk reduction and management technologies.
He said the USW is also one of the tools to train the disaster risk reduction and management teams in the low-lying levels.
The USW’s portable design is suitable for an emergency quick response. It has the capacity to float even when the water is shallow compared to a normal boat that floats only when the floodwaters are four feet or five feet high.
The body of the USW is made of a polyester resin-marine grade composite and weighs about 180 pounds. It can be lifted by two persons.
Last year, the DOST-3 provided a USW to the coastal and flood-prone towns of Bulacan – Bocaue, Bulakan, Calumpit, Hagonoy, Obando, Paombong, Pulilan – and the city of Malolos. (PNA)