Shifting to high gear in supporting the Philippines’ frontliners in battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Science and Technology accelerated its production of face shields to be distributed in various hospitals in the country.
Two research and development institutes of DOST and one research laboratory in a state university have devoted their resources in creating the face shields.
The DOST Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC), led by its Executive Director Engr. Robert O. Dizon, is now doing mass production of face shields using injection mold.
“Initially, we produced 3D printed face shields as our stop-gap measure. But we wanted to help meet the high demand for face shields, that is why we geared up for mass production. We fabricated the mold for the face shield frames at the DOST-MIRDC, and we mass produce using a technology called the plastic injection. The frame and the acetate together make up the face shield, these are secured with a garter. We have technology partners who joined us in this cause, and so now we are able to ramp up our production to around 5000 face shields per day,” said Executive Director Dizon.
MIRDC initially produced 40-50 face shields per day through the Additive Manufacturing Center that used five (5) 3D printers.
Increased production volume of these face shields is also made possible through DOST-MIRDC’s technology partners; the Omnifab, which fabricated another injection mold and the Megasamsotite Plant in San Pedro, Laguna that offered its facility as site for mass production of 2,500 face shields per day. This complements DOST-MIRDC’s own production of 2,500 face shields per day, thus bringing the total production of 5,000 face shields per day.
The Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), another DOST research and development institute, has already delivered to the Philippine Heart Center 100 3D printed face shields.
Led by ITDI Director Dr. Annabelle V. Briones, the agency worked 24 hours to produce the face shields and more will be produced by the Philippine Science High School Main Campus with the materials provided by DOST-ITDI.
The Bataan Peninsula State University – Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory (BPSU-AMREL) created a process that combines 3D printing and injection molding in creating face shields at a faster pace but in a more customizable manner. This project is funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development led by its Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit.
AMREL Project Leader Dr. John Ray Dizon said that they are looking at the process of using 3D printing, for creating customizable molds, and injection molding, for mass production of the face shields. He further said that this process can be used as well for other items that needs customization but in a smaller quantity.
DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara revealed that the agency has found innovations to decrease the production time of face shields, a vital consideration in protecting frontliners facing the global pandemic.
“As we make change happen through research and development, we find ways in helping out our new heroes facing COVID-19. We shall continue to look for better means to support our frontliners through research and development,” Usec. Guevara said.
A SALUTE AND RECOGNITION TO OUR HEALTHCARE WORKERS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19
We, the members of the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), a pioneering organization attached to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), composed of over 4,000 scientists and artists across the country, convey our utmost gratitude, support, and encouragement to all the Filipino healthcare workers—doctors, nurses, medical technologists, carers, hospital staff, orderlies, and other medical frontliners—for their selfless service in the on-going fight against COVID-19.
We are united with the nation—our communities, families, and households—rooting and praying for you, our healthcare workers, to surmount the challenges that you face in your dayto-day battle as you tend to patients needing medical attention.
Your indomitable courage and firm spirit as you daily fulfill your call of duties making sure that emergency rooms, laboratories, patient rooms and wards, and health facilities are operable inspire and move us to seek ways to do our part as your countrymen.
We admire your patience, your compassion, and the care that you extend to patients and their families, despite the difficulties and risks you need to manage for you and your family’s safety. We feel it our duty to echo the adage that the fight against COVID-19 is not a sprint, but a marathon1
. We entreat you not to neglect your own health and prioritize your peace of mind
through ways and means you perceive wise and best. Remain connected through whatever available means of communication with your close friends and acquaintances, your family members and loved ones, and your support groups. We know that being at the frontline can be lonely and daunting, and some days can feel quite burdening and wearisome, but we trust that in time we will all together pull through as we help one another in our own little ways, one day at a time. Little things are big things; to help one person is to help an entire family, which in turn helps the community.
Bearing in mind the Filipino “Bayanihan Spirit” that you undoubtedly possess, the NRCP will do its share to help fight and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 by doing our part in “flattening the curve,” in the conduct of studies and essential analyses using valuable local experience on COVID-19, the continual dissemination of research-based recommendations, and expertvetted advisories. We trust that all our efforts and our perseverance will count in our collective fight against COVID-19. We pray to God to give you more wisdom, light, provision, and strength in the upcoming days and months until we approach the end of the marathon. Bountiful blessings and a snappy salute to all Filipino health workers and their families! RAMON A. RAZAL, PhD President
Pisay main campus, pinahiram ang pasilidad sa Philippine Children’s Medical Center para sa mga health workers
Ang Philippine Science High School (PSHS) o Pisay na isa sa mga institusyon na kabilang sa Department of Science and Technology (DOST) ay ipinahiram ang kanilang campus sa Quezon City upang magamit ng mga pasyente at empleyado ng Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC).
Sa panahon ng pandemic dulot ng sakit na COVID-19, ang alok ng Pisay na maggamit ang kanilang campus ay isang inisyatibo na napakahalaga sa gitna ng kakulangan ng mga medical facilities tulad ng mga ospital o klinika at mga gusaling maaaring gamitin pansamantala ng mga health workers.
Ang Pisay Quezon City campus ay magsisilbing pansamantalang tahanan para sa mga health workers at ibang frontliners na hindi makakauwi bilang karagdagang pag-iingat sa COVID-19. Isa itong paraan upang maiwasan ang pagbibiyahe ng malayo ng mga health workers at sa gayun ay mabawasan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa panahon ng Enhanced Community Quarantine.
Ayon kay Lawrence Madriaga, campus director ng PSHS main campus, nagpasya ang Board of Trustees ng paaralan na tumulong sa panahon ng COVID-19 pandemic at ipahiram ang gymnasium nila upang magamit ng mga health workers ng PCMC.
“We are in the midst of a health crisis that is possibly the worst in our history and allowing a part of the campus to be used by PCMC is our way of contributing to the fight against COVID-19, on top of what our colleagues are already doing now,” pahayag ni Madriaga.
Sinabi naman ng pamunuan ng PCMC na sisiguraduhin nilang palaging malinis ang mga gagamiting pasilidad ng Pisay upang ito ay maging ligtas naman sa virus matapos at mapangalagaan ang kaulusugan ng mga mag-aaral, mga guro at kawani ng naturang paaralan.
Ang balitang ito ay lugod naman tinanggap ng pamahalaan bilang isang magandang halimbawa ng bayanihan sa panahon ng kagipitan o ng COVID-19 pandemic.
Ayon kay Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles ito ay magsisilbing isang huwaran para sa ibang organisasyon a institusyon na magtulungan. “May we all be inspired by their examples and open our hearts to those stricken by COVID-19 and those who care for them,” pahayag ni Nograles.
Sa isang pahayag naman ng pamunuan ng Philippine Science High School, ibinalita rin nila na ang kanilang mga faculty members at kawani sa walong (8) campuses sa bansa ay kasalukuyang gumagawa ng mga “face shield” para sa medical workers at iba pang COVID-19 frontliners (Rudy de Guzman, DOST S&T Media Service)