Ilagan, Isabela - The City of Ilagan will soon undertake the fabrication and production of the Department of Science Technology (DOST)-developed Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) and use this as an alternative mode mass transportation in Isabela and the Cagayan Valley region.
The DOST Region 2 office (DOST R-2), the City government of Ilagan and the Isabela State University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to seal their partnership on the project, which will be made a major component of the Ilagan Livable City Program on August 11, 2021.
DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said in his keynote address during the virtual signing of MOU, “Through Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT), DOST hopes to serve the best interest of the people in Ilagan City, particularly on their need for an environmental-friendly transportation mode,”
It can be a great complement to the existing public transportation system in Ilagan. Also, during this time of the pandemic, HERT can be used by the front-liners, especially during lockdowns, when there is limited public transport," he said.
"HERT can also help (Isabela) grow economically. The fabrication of HERT in the province would actually help its local manufacturing industry and economy. It can provide job opportunities for engineers and manufacturers," De la Peña cited.
Meanwhile, Ilagan City Mayor Jay L. Diaz, assured the HERT project would not affect the livelihood of tricycle and jeepney drivers and operators in the city.
“HERT will have its own route and tricycles and jeepneys can still operate. We will develop it as an alternative mode of transportation for front liners, community outreach activities among others,” Diaz said.
The city also aims to enhance the skills of students through the fabrication of HERT, he added.
Meanwhile, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations, Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang, who was a former DOST R-2 Director, said the HERT “will not only address the transportation problems in the region but will also provide the local governments with additional sources of revenues in the long run.”
Maborang explained that “the adoption of HERT innovation will also help create jobs for the metal industries and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) like those engaged in upholstery and operating welding shops.” The partnership, he added, will also help enhance and utilize the skills of local metal fabricators, students and academe, among others in the region.
DOST-MIRDC Executive Director Robert O. Dizon said the HERT transport system in Isabela, will also serve as a model for other provinces and regions in the country. “Let us show them that local technology indeed works,” he stressed.
Dr. Ricmar Aquino, ISU president, for his part, ISU’s role in the project will focus on Research and Development (R&D).
The HERT technology and prototype model was developed by the DOST Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) as an environmentally friendly and alternative mode of urban and rural mass transportation.
Developed by the engineers of DOST's Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC), HERT is 40 meters long, with five interlinked coaches and could accommodate 220 passengers per coach.
It was conceived and initiated to pursue technological developments and scientific breakthroughs in the country, and in support of the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goal “to make cities inclusive, sustainable, resilient and safe.”
A HERT unit consists of three interlinked coaches complete with an air-conditioning system for the passenger’s comfort and convenience. It can be run by diesel fuel or electric.
De la Peña added that a consortium in Isabela will do the fabrication.