THE University of Cebu (UC) has entered into a landmark agreement with the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) as they aim to revolutionize the country’s ship and boat hull design standards and research.
On Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, UC president Augusto Go signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Marina Administrator Sonia Malaluan. The agreement aims to spearhead the collaborative research agreement that will advance the Hull Design Standard for Philippine Seawater Typology (SPST) Project.
The project aspires to establish standards of hull designing in the country’s seawater, and improve the future of the maritime and shipping industry. It includes hull designing, prototyping and testing in a facility located within the university.
Under the agreement, UC will be conducting a biophysical survey and oceanographic sampling in the provinces of Batanes, Samar, Palawan, Iloilo, Romblon, Cebu, Surigao and Zamboanga del Norte to characterize and classify selected seawater typologies of the country.
The research result will serve as a standard for the country’s hull designing industry and is expected to generate economic benefits for the shipbuilding industry.
“We are an archipelagic republic...we need this kind of thing,” Go said in his speech on Saturday, as he also thanked Marina for collaborating with UC in this research endeavor.
Malaluan said the project will reduce the cost of shipbuilding as there will already be a standard design that will be incorporated in the production process.
Jacklyn Descartin, project leader from UC, told SunStar Cebu on Saturday that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is funding the project, while the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development is in-charge of the monitoring. UC will act as the project’s implementing agency.
Aside from conducting research, the MOA also covers the construction of a Maneuvering Ocean Basin facility and the enhancement of UC’s towing tank facility to cater to a different kind of stability and hydrodynamic tests and to develop a hull model design for fishing boats that will apply to all regions in the country.
Descartin said the university had the groundbreaking ceremony for the facility at the UC-METC Towing Tank Facility Grounds on Nov. 30, 2023. They aim to complete the facility by December 2024.
She added that the university has sent a team to Iloilo province to conduct various tests for the project.
The results of the SPST Project will be turned into a manual and will be submitted to Marina.
It will contain coding of the different seawater typologies in the Philippines, hull geometry for typology classifications and suggested hull form applicable for all regions in the country with the design process and testing procedures.
Descartin said the study targets to benefit the domestic shipbuilding industry, local fishermen and boat operators by providing a more scientific way of building ships.
She added that the facility will be targeting research on hull designing for boats with a size of 30 meters and below.
The project is also seen to benefit the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine Navy, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the shipping industry, among others.
It will also allow the country to become independent in designing and building ships and boats and minimize the reliance on foreign ship designers.
“This is now the time that the Philippines become ship and boat builders,” Descartin said.
“It’s very hard to make mistakes in constructing vessels, especially the huge ones... When we build a ship, we come up with a design. After the design is tested using software simulation. We will then make a scaled model and test it in the facility,” she added.