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Ecija towns receive unsinkable rescue boats to boost disaster preparedness

The provincial government of Nueva Ecija, along with the towns of Gabaldon, Pantabangan and Licab, received unsinkable small watercraft from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Central Luzon to help strengthen their disaster preparedness.

Officials said the portable design of the watercraft was suitable for emergency quick response, as it has the capacity to float even when the water is shallow compared to a normal boat that floats only when floodwaters are four to five feet deep.

The body is made of a polyester resin-marine grade composite weighing about 180 pounds, light enough to be lifted by two persons, officials noted.

According to DOST Provincial Director Leidi Mel Sicat, the turnover of the watercraft is under the agency’s Expanded Implementation of the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (eCEST) program.

“The USW would help boost the LGUs’ disaster response in mitigating the challenges encountered during and after calamities, especially during flooding,” she said.

β€œIt is difficult for the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office-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,” Sicat added.