As you enter the Palawan State University (PSU) main campus gates, an unfamiliar yet guaranteeing sight will welcome you. Just a few steps away from the façade of the university are the newly installed recycled foot-operated alcohol and soap dispenser together with similarly operated handwashing area – a quite literal step towards a cleaner and safer ‘new normal’.
These ingenious innovations are introduced by a culinary instructor of the College of Hospitality Management and Tourism (CHMT) and the head of the campus’ Utility and Environmental Management Office, Victor Albert R. Yumol, to help in the battle against the pandemic by reducing the chances of transmission through the use of a foot-operated dispenser instead of the traditional hand-operated dispensers.
The foot-operated alcohol dispensers are made out of scrap metals from the former metal fences of the campus while the foot and knee-press mechanism of the handwashing area in the front gate was made out of dumped urinal water pipes.“Lahat ‘yan (foot-operated dispenser), gawa sa mga sirang bakod namin doon sa campus kasi nagpa-renovate ang school ng mga bakod.
So ‘yung mga tubo niya, iyon ‘yung unti-unti naming ginawang foot press na alcohol dispenser,” Yumol said. “Naisip ko ‘yon (foot and knee press handwash), kasi yung mga sirang pipes ng university doon sa storage namin, ‘yung mga pipes sa urinal na sira, out of doon ‘yung mga hugasan na ‘yon. Ni-repair lang namin kasi nagli-leak kaya tinanggal, kaya inayos nalang namin,” he added.
These innovations were made and assembled by Yumol and his team consisting of campus janitors – successfully making 37 units of foot-operated alcohol and soap dispensers. The dispensers are installed around the main campus and they were also able to send three units in PSU Manalo Campus and two units in PSU San Rafael Campus.
Equipped with their love for PSU, Yumol together with his department planned to contribute something to the university in its efforts to adapt with the current situation brought by COVID-19, giving way to their idea of making a foot-operated alcohol dispenser.
“Naisip namin, paano kaya tayo makakapagcontribute man lang sa university? Wala naman kaming mabibigay na ayuda kasi utility lang department namin kaya nagisip kami ng puwede naming macontribute sa university, for the love of PSU na rin kasi doon kami nagtatrabaho,” Yumol added.
According to Yumol, the main function of their office is maintaining cleanliness and landscaping of the campus; another reason why they made the recycled dispensers.
These alcohol dispensers and handwashing area isn’t the only projects made by Yumol and his office, they also made the existing 10 trash bins with basketball rings in the Main Campus and additional two similar trash bins in Manalo Campus.
He said that the design of their dispensers has a long way to go since all of the devices are made up of only scrap materials and they’ll be able to develop its design if they had better materials to make the dispensers. Yumol said that they are happy that they are able to help other people.
He also hopes that their innovation will reach and inspire other people to make and develop their own foot-operated dispensers. “Ginawa naman namin ito out of love din talaga sa PSU and of course siyempre ‘yung makatulong ka lang masaya ka na. Sana may mga ma-inspire din tayo, may makaisip pa kung paano mas mapaganda ‘yung design. Para sa atin naman din lahat ito, tulungan lang,” he said.