70 Sabang, Honda Bay boat operators receive tracking device

The 70 units of portable transponders were offered free to 35 boat operators in Honda Bay, Sta. Lourdes and another 35 at Sitio Sabang, Cabayugan (File photo)

Some 70 fishermen and tourist boat operators in Barangays Sta. Lourdes and Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa City received real-time vessel tracking devices recently from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and a Manila-based maritime enterprise.

Arcelio Fetizanan Jr., the chief executive officer of the Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise Inc. (FAME), said Tuesday the 70 units of portable transponders can help locate the boats if they get lost at sea.

They were offered free to 35 boat operators in Honda Bay, Sta. Lourdes and another 35 at Sitio Sabang, Cabayugan for free under a partnership with DOST, he said.

He said the beneficiaries are mostly fishermen and boat operators who are also members of tourism associations.

Fetizanan said FAME had a meeting with the beneficiaries in Honda Bay on October 5, and on the following day, the portable transponders were delivered to them.

The beneficiaries in Sabang will receive theirs next week.

Other interested fishermen or tour boat operators, he added, can acquire the transponders under a monthly subscription of P800 for three years or more depending on the use of the units.

The transponder is a small portable device that their company has developed and made available in the market since 2015, he said adding that the DOST assisted their company in developing the technology and the finished product, Fetizanan pointed out.

“Ito ay i-install sa mga bangka nila at sila ay nata-track kaya feel safe tayo at any given time kasi alam natin kung nasaan sila. Both sa web at mobile apps ay makikita ang information,” he said.

Fetizanan said the transponders will address the problems of fishermen or tour operators onboard the banca that go to the distant islands without any cellular signal.

Through the technology that they have developed, messages and data can now be transmitted with a range of over 21 miles between devices through gateways, he explained.

“May mga lugar sa dagat, sa laot na walang signal. Kaya napaka-importante na ma-track ang iyong location,” he said.

This technology is the answer to the maritime and general aviation industry as aircraft and water vessels can now be monitored and tracked in real-time, Fetizanan said..

“May mga fishermen na nalulunod dahil sa malakas na alon. Tinanong ko sila kung ano’ng gagawin nila kung palutang lutang sila sa dagat. Ang kanilang sagot ay hintayin na lang na may magdaan na ibang bangka,” he also said.

FAME is a private company that developed the small-scale vessel tracker. Its technology is designed to increase the safety of air and sea travel with technology that is compact, low-cost and easily deployable.

“FAME has worked hard to incorporate features into our transponders that benefit the fishers who use them,” Fetizanan said.

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