Feb 20, 2018, New Washington, Aklan – Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. De la Peña and Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Cristina Rowena L. Guevara visited DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD)-funded project in New Washington, Aklan for the development of a hybrid trimaran fast craft passenger-cargo vessel with multi-engine and alternative energy source from ocean waves. This project was initiated by Aklan State University (ASU)-New Washington Campus in partnership with Metallica Marine Consultancy, Fabrication, and Services to address the Maritime Industry Authority’s (MARINA) call for modernization on the maritime industry to benefit MARINA, shipbuilders and the local community.

During the project visit, USec Guevara said that she will request DOST- Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC) to help in the fabrication of pumps that will be used for the prototype vessel while Sec. De la Pena said he will also request some of their MS Engineering scholar-graduates to work on the project.

In his speech, the Sec De la Peña said that marine transportation is close to his heart even when he was still a boy. He added that when he assumed the position of being the Secretary of DOST, he immediately conveyed his desire to prioritize marine transportation in which his main concern is on how to connect the islands of the Philippines to make it more accessible for the people to move around.

“We would like to attract investors in this particular industry”, said Secretary De la Peña.

“Part of the commercialization effort will be the identification of practical routes for the trimaran’, he added.

The Secretary also expects this project to finish within the promised time. Moreover, he expects to build capabilities in Region VI particularly in the province of Aklan, where Aklan State University is the major Higher Education Institute in this particular field with an expectation that in the future, there will be an academic program that will support the efforts on shipbuilding.

Furthermore, the Secretary hopes that MARINA will be able to come up with policies that will encourage modernization in this industry. The MARINA promised to provide a technical guide during the construction of the vessel to ensure that the prototype meets the standards as well as assist during the test trials of the boat.

“We cannot afford to fail in this project”, Sec De la Peña said citing major R&D deliverables in the next three to five years, namely Health, Agriculture and Industry and Energy.

He further emphasized that Industry and Energy was his top priority of the three mentioned fields.

“For industry and energy, I will put this as the top 1 of the top 3 in my priority list, we have the marine transportation, space technology, renewable energy, and our adventure into artificial intelligence.”, Sec De la Peña further said. (DOST6/jragabiota) #ScienceForThePeople #DOST6