As the entire National Capital Region and Cebu City in the Philippines remain in a modified enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status, which means these affected areas are still in relatively high risk of exposure and spread of the deadly new Coronavirus Disease-2019 (CoViD-19), the Department of Science and Technology- Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) has responded to the need for more personal protective equipment (PPE) by producing bamboo-framed face shields for distribution to frontline services.
“Our team had to improvise with the materials at hand because the ECQ made it challenging to procure supplies,” explained DOST-FPRDI Director Romulo T. Aggangan.
The frames of the face shields were made from bamboo (kauayan-tinik), a perennial, woody-stemmed grass known for its versatile uses. Bamboo grows well locally and is a favored raw material for handicraft and furniture production.
According to Aggangan, at least 300 face shields were produced and turned over to the University of the Philippines-Los Banos and some barangays and health units in Los Banos and Bay in Laguna last April 27. More batches of face shields have been subsequently produced.
“The DOST-FPRDI is one with the science community in finding ways to protect our frontliners and the public from CoViD-19. Currently, we are exploring other possible uses of forest products to help combat this global pandemic. The use of R&D and scientific facts is all the more needed to cope in these challenging times,” Aggangan stressed. (DOST-FPRDI)