NORTH COTABATO PROVINCE – “It is time to upgrade”, Governor Nancy Catamco was quoted saying during the Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) Task Force Meeting on 16 February 2021 at the Provincial Capitol upon hearing reports confirming feasibility of accommodating a 240-seater HERT in the province.
“I am looking forward to the operation of HERT in our province by 3rd quarter of 2021”, Governor Catamco added.
After several activities relative to this endeavor, the task force through PPDO Ms. Cynthia Ortega as Head Secretariat presented to the good governor results of the conducted feasibility study and consultation dialogue.
As to operational cost, it was concluded that compared to different modes of public transportation in a particular area, HERT is much cheaper.
Establishment of three (3) loading stations and the proposed modification of rotundas in Kidapawan City, Matalam, and M’lang were deliberated. An overview of the following mark points: Capitol @ Amas – KM 14 – Gaisano Grand – St. Mary’s Academy – Gaisano – KM 14 – Capitol @ Amas – Matalam and vice versa was also discussed.
The said facility locally developed by the DOST - Metals Industry Research and Development Council (MIRDC) produces less smoke emission compared with existing mass transport vehicles, making it an eco-friendly mode of transport.
According to the governor, needed enhancements at the Central Mindanao Airport vis-a-vis the operation of HERT can easily be considered.
Provincial Director Michael Mayo confirmed that DOST -MIRDC thru Executive Director Engr. Robert Dizon is willing to transfer the technology in partnership with DOST XII thru Regional Director Engr. Sammy Malawan and Cotabato Provincial Government thru Governor Catamco.
As agreed, target undertakings for the 3rd quarter of the year include the conduct of Pre-Technology Transfer activity; mobilization of HERT from GenSan to Cotabato Province; Commissioning and Stationary Testing; and, proper project implementation/ HERT operation.
Finally, Governor Catamco is set to endorse the adoption of the HERT for approval of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Other HERT Task Force representatives present during the meeting were from the Municipal Planning and Development of LGUs concerned, Department of Public Works and Highways, Traffic Management Group, and the Transport Sector.