THE fabrication laboratories (fablabs) in Central Visayas are stepping up production of face shields urgently needed by medical workers who are on the front line against the coronavirus disease pandemic.
In Cebu alone, a total of 5,917 face shields were produced and distributed to local hospitals and frontliners in the province, according to Esperanza Melgar, provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7.
These were produced by fablabs of the University of the Philippines Cebu (1,110 pieces), Cebu Technological University (CTU)-Tuburan (1,959), CTU-Danao (1,438), CTU-Argao (1,290) and Bogo City (120).
About 40 percent of the face shields produced CTU-Tuburan is still up for distribution, Melgar said.
“All others were already distributed,” she said.
DTI 7 assistant director Nannette Arbon said the agency gave P1 million in financial assistance to the fablabs in Central Visayas to increase their output.
“The CTU and UP Cebu also gave financial support. A lot of donations came in from the private sector,” she told.SunStar Cebu on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
Central Visayas has three fablabs located in Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, and five in Cebu.
“All our eight fablabs in Central Visayas have been busy in the last two weeks producing face shields,” Arbon said.
The DTI 7 funding is used to procure raw materials such as acrylic sheets and acetate.
“The labor for putting together the face shields are coming from the fablabs and their communities and in some instances, like in Dumaguete and Siquijor, the DTI people also pitches in,” Arbon said.
The DTI 7 also helps in the distribution of the face shields.
The Philippine Fablab Network said it will produce more face shields.
All fablabs in the country are in need of 3D printer filaments, acrylic sheets and acetate to produce more protective equipment for medical people.
The group urges the public to support a fablab near them by sending materials needed as logistics is quite challenging nowadays. (CSL)