Bagong Henerasyon party-list representative Bernadette Herrera has suggested the use of microsatellites, smart buoys, and unmanned aerial drones to monitor the country’s maritime borders and territorial waters.
Herrera said the Department of National Defense and the Philippine Coast Guard should include the tech tools in their 2022 budget proposals in order to secure funding for their procurement.
“These are cost-effective technology solutions we need to help our fisherfolk, inter-island ferries, and island communities. Noting that the budget preparations are underway at the agency levels, I thought it would be timely to put forward this suggestion at this time,” the lawmaker said.
Herrera might be unaware, however, that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has already been using Filipino-developed microsatellites to capture high-resolution photos of the country’s coastlines.
Herrera also called on the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to consider giving portable telecoms and solar energy solutions to Filipino fishing boats which sail out to deep waters to catch more fish beyond municipal fishing areas.
“I know that BFAR already has fishing technology that can pinpoint the best areas in the sea to fish as well as monitor the areas that are already overfished. BFAR can include that in their budget proposal,” she said.
“Perhaps the DOST and the Department of Trade and Industry can help the fisherfolk and maritime sector by providing larger and better equipped fishing boats, as well as more refrigeration facilities in coastal barangays,” she added.