Humanizing the FIRe

DZMJ Online Season 12 Episode 3 is at the 86th General Membership Assembly of the National Research Council of the Philippines with non other than DOST Sec. Dr. Fortunato T de la Pena, NRCP President Dr. Ramon Razal and DR. Desiree Hautea

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Transeek: A Grab-like app for trikes coming for Butuan Dionard N. Mendova, DOST-Caraga

From a startup to Butuan’s first tricycle hailing mobile app!

Commuters in the city proper have same sentiments: difficulty in getting tricycle ride, especially during late hours, rude drivers, and overpriced rides. A team composed of an Information Systems (IS) student and Information Technology (IT) instructors from Caraga State University in Butuan City was inspired and thought of a way to remedy the situation – a mobile application called “Transeek”, short for transportation seek.

Transeek app hopes to provide safer and convenient commute around Butuan City and increase income for tricycle drivers. With a single tap of the user, he/she can book a ride to his/her destination and Transeek will look for the nearest available tricycle. The app makes use of the internet and smartphones’ Global Positioning System (GPS). Transeek app will be available for Android smartphone users this year.

Its developers, the IS student and team leader Angelito Cagulada, Jr., and IT instructors, Ernest Jay Cubillas and Lemar Arnego, started Transeek last year as a startup idea while enrolled in Navigatú – a Technology Business Incubation (TBI) hub funded by Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD). Navigatú, taken from the word ‘navigation’ and inspired by Butuan’s Balangay Boats, offers idea incubation program and business skills course for startups in the region.

The hub guided Transeek team in developing the app and its business strategy. Just recently, the project allocated Php 2,000,000.00 from investor for funds during its full operation. “We are now on the second round of deliberation with investors and partners, and hopefully we can operate by April or March,” told Cagulada during an interview.

CSU BSIS student Angelito Cagulada, Jr. (left) with teammate and IT instructor Ernest Jay Cubillas (right) showing the Transeek mobile app in an Android smartphone

Transeek in uplifting lives

Based on a feasibility study on the system among 100 tricycle drivers in Butuan City, the team found out that the average income of tricycle drivers ranges from 400 to 500 pesos per day. With the help of Transeek, tricycle drivers can increase their income to up to more than 300%.

Transeek base fare for a maximum of 3 passengers per ride will be Php30.00, with a service charge of 5 pesos. Drivers will get Php25.00 for every ride from the system. Transeek hopes to decrease delays and standby hours of tricycle drivers in the city.

“We have interviewed drivers during ‘toda’ meetings and most of them liked Transeek since they don’t have to waste time roaming around to look for passengers,” said Cubillas.

Drivers’ registration to the system will be free. They will be required to comply for insurance which most of tricycle drivers in the city fail to adhere to.

Behind ‘Transeek’: Navigatú on board

“Because of Navigatú, we were exposed to ideation, pitching and marketing activities we never had in classrooms. It helped improve my potentials for business,” said Cagulada.

Transeek team is among the first batch of “incubatees” together with 6 more teams developing local IT solutions for agriculture and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Facility

such as computer units and administrative functions are provided for free in Navigatú enabling them to develop their startup ideas.

Navigatú incubatees working on their startup projects at their headquarters

“Before, we just make IT systems because we like it. Now, it’s more on solving problems or helping improve lives,” told Cubillas of Transeek team.

Engr. Jeffrey Dellosa, Navigatú Project Leader and CSU’s Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO) manager said that they try to provide an ecosystem in the university that enables students and anyone to transform their ideas into businesses. They give a venue for startups to acquire an entrepreneurial skills and mindset while generating solutions to existing societal problems.

Mr. El Psalms David Franco, TBI Manager added that they want the incubatees to realize the value of their skills, sustain their business up to more than 5 years and create more job opportunities. Navigatú also conducts workshops on business and ICT for schools and organizations in the region.

Learn more about the application and the team’s activities at https://www.facebook.com/transeek/.

Also, get to know more about Navigatú TBI hub for startups in Caraga at https://www.facebook.com/navigatu/.

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DOST Secretary de la Peña headlines PhilAAST S&T Caravan in Cavite

The Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology (PhilAAST) held its first science and technology (S&T) caravan for 2019 in Cavite on February 1, 2019.

The caravan was conducted in collaboration with the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), Department of Science and Technology Region IV-A (DOST CALABARZON), and the Cavite State University (CvSU).

DOST Secretary and PhilAAST Adviser Fortunato T. de la Peña was one of the main guests of the event. The event also allowed Secretary de la Peña to visit the DOST-assisted and funded projects in Cavite.

The DOST-PCAARRD delegation was led by its Acting Executive Director, Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora and its Acting Deputy Executive Director for R&D, Dr. Edwin C. Villar. Meanwhile, DOST IV-A was led by its Regional Director, Dr. Alexander R. Madrigal.

The S&T caravan program was conducted at the Santiago M. Rolle Hall of CvSU – Don Severino de las Alas Main Campus in Indang, Cavite.

During the program, PhilAAST President and DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya shared that one of PhilAAST’s missions is to inculcate a culture of excellence and integrity among Filipino scientists and technologists and build linkages for the members of the community in the country as well as those outside the Philippines. He also presented the many competitions that PhilAAST members may join and compete in.

Secretary de la Peña discussed the major DOST programs and shared that he “would rather have fewer new R&D projects approved to give way to the commercialization of those that have been completed.” He added that he had been reiterating this initiative to fully utilize the outcomes of the completed R&Ds.

The new recruits of PhilAAST were inducted on the same day. More than 200 people signed up with PhilAAST.

DOST-funded projects in Cavite

Dr. Teddy F. Tepora of CvSU presented updates on the Intellectual Property and Technology Business Management (IP-TBM) program. IP-TBM aims to strengthen the capacities of selected consortia member agencies (9 SUCs/1 RDI) to effectively carry out their IP management and commercialization functions.

IP-TBM offices are technology transfer offices that are envisioned to mirror the initiatives of the DOST-PCAARRD Innovation and Technology Center (DPITC). The DPITC serves as a one-stop hub for technology owners and generators, investors, end users, and other stakeholders within the agriculture, aquatic and natural resources (AANR) innovation system.

As part of the caravan, a tour was also organized. It was organized to showcase the DOST-funded projects in Cavite. CvSU Vice President for Research and Extension Dr. Ruel M. Mojica toured the participants at the CvSU Coffee Quality Processing Center, CvSU Agriculture and Food Technology Business Incubator (AFTBI), and the Science for the Convergence of Agriculture and Tourism (SciCAT) site at the Silan Farm.

As one of the programs being supported and funded by PCAARRD, AFTBI helps nurture start-up businesses to create wealth and employment, as well as foster development through technology incubation. AFTBIs are facilities where start-ups are hosted and business development services are provided.

SciCAT, on the other hand, aims to transform farm sites into tourist spots to create and maximize its opportunities. SciCAT also seeks to utilize agri-aqua technologies to improve productivity.

The 15-hectare Silan Farm, is owned by Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Edilberto Silan, produces dragon fruit, banana, papaya, cucumbers, eggplants, bitter gourds, and other vegetables. There are plans to transform the Silan Farm into a SciCAT farm site for tourists, students, educators, and technology transfer advocates, among others.

The L.A. Machineries Corporation in Bacoor City, one of DOST IV-A project collaborators, was also visited. It was followed by the tour to PCAARRD-CvSU’s Bacoor Mussel Depuration Facility, a small-scale depuration model, which allows mussels to self-cleanse and expel gut bacteria that may pose health risks to consumers when mussels are eaten raw or partially cooked.

Located near the depuration facility, the Bacoor Food Processing Center produces different ‘tahong’ recipes such as empanadang tahong, adobong tahong, tahongganisa, tahong putopao, crispy tahong, lumpiang tahong, and siomai tahong. De la Peña and the participants tried some of the recipes together with the Bacoor City government officials.

Founded on September 15, 1951, PhilAAST is an “SEC-registered, non-stock and non-profit scholarly organization that aims to promote and broaden the base of scientific advancement in the country.” The purpose of its S&T caravan is to orient researchers, scientists, and technology developers about PhilAAST and to encourage them to join the organization (Kariza M. Geminiano, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services).