MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) received environment-friendly vehicles for patrol and rescue operations in top tourist destination Boracay, a year after the island closed down for rehabilitation efforts.
On Thursday, April 25, Star 8 Green Technology Corporation and Southwest Travel and Tours turned over one patrol boat, 3 e-bikes, and an ambulance to the DENR.
Each electric bike can be driven up to 100 kilometers per hour (kph), and has a range of 150 kilometers (km) for its battery. Meanwhile, the solar-powered ambulance has a maximum speed of 90 kph with a 20-km range.
The solar-powered patrol boat has a speed of 5 knots and can run for another 8 hours before charging.
The donated vehicles are part of the memorandum of agreement signed between the two companies and the government.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said that the vehicles would “help minimize air and noise pollution in Boracay,” apart from helping sustain enforcement and sustainability efforts in the island.
Apart from the donated vehicles, Southwest will also provide operational and maintenance support for the units for a period of two years from turnover.
In October, Southwest also provided shuttles for tourists through solar-powered vehicles.
In April 2018, Boracay was ordered closed for 6 months starting April 26 due to environmental problems. It was reopened to the public in October 2018.
The local government had already shifted to e-trikes in August last year, in a bid to sustain the environmental efforts in the island. – Aika Rey/Rappler.com
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