Philippine-made bamboo-framed face shield PPE to be mass-produced

HSBC Philippines
Bamboo Framed face shield
DOST-FPRDI developed the locally-produced bamboo-framed face shields. Photo from LTO Region 4A Facebook.

The bamboo-framed face shield personal protective equipment (PPE) recently developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Philippines is set to be mass-produced for Cabuyao town in Laguna.

The frames of the face shields made from bamboo (kauayan-tinik), a perennial, woody-stemmed grass known for its versatile uses, was developed by the Forest Products Research and Development Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-FPRDI).

The initial batch of bamboo face shields was donated to the University of the Philippines Los Baños, some barangays in Los Baños, Laguna, and rural health units of Los Baños and Bay, Laguna, among others in May 2020.

DOST announced on July 13, 2020, the intent of the Cabuyao local government unit (LGU) to mass-produce the locally-produced PPE for its personnel in the frontlines of the battle against the COVID 19 pandemic.

DOST-FPRDI will provide the design, specifications, and other requirements needed to produce the face shields. It will also give technical assistance on steam bending, the process wherein the bamboo strips for the frame are subjected to heat to flex them and become pliable to the desired form.

“Locally producing the face shields will not only save us money as we don’t need to buy commercially it will also create jobs in our city. It will be a much-needed source of income for the people who will be hired in this project,” said Cabuyao City Mayor Rommel A. Gecolea.

Production will be supervised by the City Cooperative and Livelihood Development Office in partnership with the City Agricultural Office. According to Gecolea, they also intend to tap DOST-FPRDI in their project that aims to grow bamboo along river banks.

The bamboo-framed face shield is one of DOST-FPRDI’s initiatives to help protect the public against COVID-19. To date, the Institute has donated at least 2,000 bamboo-framed face shields to LGUs, rural health units, public and private hospitals, restaurants, banks and funeral establishments in Laguna; NGOs and government offices in Nueva Vizcaya, Occidental Mindoro and Palawan; the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Victoria, Laguna; the Public Attorney’s Office in San Pablo City; DOST- Technology Application and Promotion Institute; Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA); DENR- Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau; and University of the Philippines Los Baños.

DOST had also partnered with the Bataan Peninsula State University – Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory (BPSU-AMREL) to create a process that combines 3D printing and injection molding in creating face shields at a faster pace but in a more customizable manner.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to DOST and Laguna for using locally-developed bamboo-framed face shields.

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