“Bahangka”?

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It’s a combination of “baha” (flood) and “bangka” (boat) coined by a group of amateur boat builders and sailing enthusiasts and have put it to good use.

The group is called the Philippine Home Boatbuilders Yacht Club (PHBYC) which collaborated with the frequently-flooded Barangay (Village) Sta. Ana in the municipality of San Mateo, province of Rizal, CALABARZON Region.

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Roy Espiritu, a media practitioner and a boat builder and sailing enthusiast, also one of the officials of PHBYC, said in an email to Scitech & Digital News that the Sta. Ana local government unit (LGU) sought the assistance of the organization to help address the village’s frequent flooding.

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Thus, the PHBYC and the village leadership agreed to construct four flood boats called the Bahangka.

Espiritu pointed out that the “Bahangka was originally developed in 2009 in the wake of Typhoon Ondoy which left much of the areas around Metro Manila and surrounding provinces inundated by flood waters for several weeks.”

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Building the Bahangka, he said, is simple and easy using plywood and lumber bonded and protected with epoxy.

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PHBYC stalwart Felix Bautista noted that even non-experts may be able to construct a Bahangka.

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“This boat is designed with minimal wastage of materials and can be built in less than two days by someone with limited carpentry experience, and because it is a rigid boat made of marine plywood, is not prone to punctures the way that rubber boats can be,” said Bautista.

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The leadership of Sta. Ana will use the four boats they built to facilitate their relief efforts in evacuating residents and delivering relief goods in time of flooding.

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Anyone who wants to build a Bahangka may download the plans for the boats from the website of PHBYC: http://www.pinoyboats.org.

Espiritu said PHBYC received boat-building materials and other supplies from Zamboply (marine plywood), Republic Chemicals (epoxy adhesive and paint), Polymer Products (epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth.

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For one boat, he said, the cost is around Php12,000.

Sta. Ana village chief Henry “Butchoy” Cruz welcomed the assistance from PHBYC and its sponsors, saying the four boats will be a great help during floods and give them immediate response time.

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“It’s amazing that the four boats were built in two days,” Sta. Ana Barangay Captain Cruz said.

Espiritu said they are ready to help other LGUs as well. (EKU)