The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has allocated 10,000 DOST-developed face shields in the five provinces in the region — Palawan, Romblon, Marinduque, Occidental and Oriental Mindoro — in an effort to assist frontline workers in different sectors who are continuously fighting coronavirus disease COVID-19 in the country.
The Province of Oriental Mindoro have already received their 2,000 DOST-developed face shields, while the four other provinces in the region, including Palawan, are still waiting for their respective allocations.
The agency said that they fabricated the face shields using a plastic injection molding technology, and they were able to produce 5,000 pieces daily.
“The face shields were developed by the DOST Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) and Philippine Science High School MIMAROPA Region Campus (PSHS-MIMAROPA) in response of DOST to the call of the ‘Bayanihan to Heal as One Act’ in beating the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines. The face shields from DOST-MIRDC were developed using a plastic injection molding technology, an upgrade from 3D Printing technology, to ramp up the production of the protective frames to up to 5,000 pieces per day,” the DOST said in a press release, emailed to this writer by Reina Rose Realino, DOST-MIMAROPA Regional Office.
The DOST further said that the 2,000 face shields for Oriental Mindoro were distributed by the DOST-Provincial Science and Technology Center to the health workers of Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital (OMPH), frontline workers of Provincial Agriculturist’s Office and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
In April 2020, the DOST-assisted Innovation Laboratory (Inno Lab) in Palawan located in Western Philippines University (WPU) has produced make-shift frames assembled into face shields and distributed to different hospitals and health centers. The frames for the face shields were designed and produced using an industrial 3D printer provided by DOST-MIMAROPA to the innolab.This is an initiative of the WPU, Fullbright College, and the UP Alumni Association- Palawan Chapter.
Phyllicia Anne M. Baguyo, Science Research Specialist II of Palawan Science and Technology Center (PSTC) said that their agency has utilized 3D printing in its effort to aid COVID-19 response. She explained that the new manufacturing techniques has addressed the shortages of necessary medical personal protective equipment (PPE) in the country as it battles coronavirus disease COVID–19.
“All these initiatives are perfect realization of what was envisioned in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, wherein projects and programs that stimulate innovation become essential in addressing challenges and achieving local and national development goals. In this fight against COVID-19, DOST-MIMAROPA will continue bringing Science for the People,” the DOST further said.