Tuesday, March 31, 2020

DTI, BatStateU Join Forces to Provide Frontliners Protection Against COVID-19

As the number of COVID-19 cases increases in the country, there is also an increasingly growing concern about the lack of personal protective equipment for our frontline workers. Thus, the Department of Trade and Industry – Regional Operations Group (DTI-ROG), spearheaded by Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona, in collaboration with the Labspace for Innovation Knowledge-Honing and Application (LIKHA) FabLab of the Batangas State University (BatStateU), is producing face shields using 3D printed face bands and acetate films for health workers who are in the frontline against the dreaded pandemic virus.

“DTI is not only committed to ensure efficient delivery of business development services and to enforce consumer protection and education in the countryside, but also, is more devoted to be of help during this pandemic crisis. Kaya naman naisip namin na gamitin ang ilang mga ipinamahaging Shared Service Facilities (SSF) equipment sa bansa, katuwang ang mga MSMEs at ilang state universities and colleges, upang lumikha ng mas maraming face masks at face shields para sa ating mga kababayan, lalong na sa mga bayani natin ngayon na humaharap sa mapeligrosong epidemya,” said Usec. Lantayona.

The LIKHA FabLab is a Shared Service Facility funded by the DTI, where business enterprises engaged in top industries in the CALABARZON region, such as furniture-related processes and electronics, can converge with designers to create and develop models and make prototypes for mass production. It is a digital fabrication that enables collaboration and promotes transparency among designers and modellers aided by computer-controlled machines. Stored digital design using the sophisticated technology provides an array of services to make the whole furniture design. Moreover, the manufacturing team takes care of the detailed designs, analysis, documentation, and fabrication.

“The supply of additional protective face shields is our way of solving the problem in the lack of PPE for our frontliners,” said LIKHA FabLab Center Head Engr. Louie Villaverde.

According to Engr. Villaverde, they already donated 130 face shields to Batangas Medical Center. They are also planning to provide more by producing 30-40 face shields a day to different hospitals in Batangas, then later to to the hospitals in the entire CALABARZON and soon, to other frontline workers nationwide.

Engr. Villaverde noted that for now, they are in need of additional materials. Any donations or supplies of raw materials will be of great help. “We are in the position to help others. Kahit maliit o malaki, ito ay tulong pa rin,” said Engr. Villaverde.

The Center for Technopreneurship and Innovation of the Batangas State University is accepting raw materials for fabrication of face shields:

  • Acetate or PVC Sheets, Size A4
  • Rubber Bands (natura)
  • 3D Printer Filament (PLA-type fro Ultimaker)
  • ABS Sheet and Acetate for Vacuum Forming Machine

Here are some suppliers that you can contact directly as it will be difficult for the FabLab to accept monetary donations:

  • Puzzlebox (3D Printer Supplier, Mr. Clark Merano, 09663383175
  • ES Print Media, Inc. (ABS and Acetate), Mr. Ron Mariano, 09177129190
Donations may be sent to Batangas State University, Pablo Borbon Main II, Alangilan, Batangas City.

“We are strongly supporting the effort and initiative of LIKHA in developing innovative and effective solutions to help in combatting COVID-19. As we, in the DTI, work alongside with LIKHA, we are urging everyone, especially in the CALABARZON, to support their very important work,” DTI 4-A Director Marilou Toledo said. 

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