70 Palawan Fishermen, Tour Boat Operators Get Free Tracking Devices

Around 70 fishermen and boat operators in two coastal villages in Palawan received free portable tracking devices recently from the joint project of a Manila-based aviation and maritime company and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The tracking devices are free for 35 fishermen and boat operators in Honda Bay, Barangay Sta. Lourdes, and another 35 in Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan.

Arcelio Fetizanan Jr., the chief executive officer of Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise Inc. (FAME), told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday that the devices can provide real-time vessel tracking information from locations where there is no available cell phone signal.

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.

He said the beneficiaries are mostly fishermen and boat operators who are also members of fishing and 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 can acquire the transponders under a monthly subscription of PHP800 for three years or more depending on the use of the unit, he added.

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

“Ito ay e-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 (This will be installed on their boats and it will track them that’s why they will feel safe at any given time because we know where they are. You can see its information in the web and on mobile apps),” he said.

Fetizanan said the transponder will address the problems of fishermen or tour operators sailing to distant islands, where there is no cellular signal.

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

“May mga lugar sa dagat, sa laot na walang signal. Kaya napaka-importante na ma-track ang iyong location (There are places in the high seas that have no signal. This is the reason why it is important to track their locations),” 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, said Fetizanan. (PNA)

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