DAGUPAN CITY – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) turned over on Friday an "unsinkable" portable boat to officials of Barangay Calmay, to be used for emergency response and rescue.
Ronald Pagsanghan, the inventor of the boat made by a company called Philtech, said the boat is considered unsinkable as it is made of buoyant materials and rigid fiberglass flexi-polymer composite that makes it impact-resistant and able to stay afloat even when damaged.
He said the boat is suitable for rapid deployment because its overall structure is lightweight, making it easy to carry and transport.
The boat costs PHP650,000 and was funded by the DOST under the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program.
Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez thanked the national government and called the intervention a response to climate change.
“Maaring magamit sa emergency maging sa mga karatig barangay. Malaking tulong ito sa oras ng kalamidad (This could be used in emergencies even by the neighboring barangays. This is a huge help especially in times of calamities),” she said during the turnover ceremony.
In an interview, Pangasinan Provincial Science and Technology director engineer Arnold Santos said Barangay Calmay was among the communities in the city assessed by DOST as needing a rescue boat.
“Nagkaroon kami community needs assessment sa mga barangay at lumabas sa result ng assessment need nila ay rescue boat (We conducted community needs assessment in the barangays and the result of their assessment is their need for a rescue boat),” he said.
Santos said the CEST has livelihood, education, disaster risk reduction and management, health and nutrition, and environmental components.
This year, Santos said they are focused on coastal areas, including Bolinao town and Dagupan City.
While Dagupan is an urban area, some of its communities including the island barangays, are considered impoverished.
Barangay Pantal, one of the assessed communities, will receive a solar fish dryer. (PNA)