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Pinay lawmaker brandishes PH made bamboo-framed face shield

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Rep. Hofer wore a piña mask and the DOST-FPRDI bamboo-framed face shield during the 11th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) last August 14
Photo courtesy of Congresswoman Ann K. Hofer, 2nd District Representative of Zamboanga Sibugay

By Alithea De Jesus

They say necessity is the mother of invention. As the country is flooded with substandard, cheap and unreliable PPEs from other countries, the Filipinos ingenuity once again proves we can do better as the bamboo-framed face shield developed by the Department of Science and Technology-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) has caught the attention of the ASEAN neighbors when a Filipina lawmaker brandished it during the 11th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly last August 14, 2020.

Congresswoman Ann K. Hofer of the 2nd District Representative of Zamboanga Sibugay, who is also the Chairperson of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, used the bamboo-framed face shield during the Working Group Caucus of the 11th AAIPA.

An advocate of using Filipino-made products, Rep. Hofer was wearing the bamboo-framed face shield during the meeting, as she  facilitated the discussion on “Mitigating Risks and Strengthening Economic Resilience in the Period of Pandemic.”

Those who joined in the video conference by international delegates from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, thus enabling her to showcase our very own innovation to combat the spread of COVID-19 disease.

To complement the all-Filipino made outfit, Rep. Hofer wore a piña mask and the DOST-FPRDI bamboo-framed face shield during the ASEAN AIPA meeting.

With this nationalistic gesture of taking pride in our indigenous products, DOST-FPRDI Director Romulo T. Aggangan was elated and commended the lawmakers.

“We are thankful for the support given by the members of the House of Representatives to this initiative,” he said. Director Aggangan shared that many if the members of the House of Representatives have either commended or signified interest in adopting the bamboo-framed face shield including Ilocos Sur 1st District Rep. Deogracias Victor B. Savellano, Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Luz A. Quimbo, and Manila 4th District Rep. Edward V. Maceda.

DOST-FPRDI pioneered the production of the bamboo-framed face shields in the country. Bamboo is a perennial, woody-stemmed grass widely used in making handicrafts and furniture.

DOST-FPRDI pioneered the production of bamboo-framed face shield in the country.
Bamboo is a perennial, woody-stemmed grass widely used in making handicrafts and furniture
Photo from DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute

The bamboo-framed face shield is one of DOST-FPRDI’s initiatives in response to the need for more personal protective equipment amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Since April, the Institute has been distributing the face shields for free to various public and private frontline agencies around the country. DOST-FPRDI has also provided training and technical assistance to the local government of Cabuyao, Laguna in its mass production of the said face shields.

“With the support of our partners in Congress, we believe that more Filipinos will be able to use and benefit from DOST-FPRDI technologies. We will continue to find ways to help combat the global pandemic through R&D,” Aggangan concluded.

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