The bamboo-framed face shield developed by the DOST- Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) recently caught the attention of a congresswoman- advocate of using Filipino-made products.

Rep. Ann K. Hofer, 2nd District Representative of Zamboanga Sibugay and the Chairperson of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, used the bamboo-framed face shield during the Working Group of the 11th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) Caucus last 14 August 2020.

During the meeting, she facilitated a discussion on "Mitigating Risks and Strengthening Economic Resilience in the Period of Pandemic." International delegates from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam joined via video conference.

To complete her all-Filipino made outfit, Rep. Hofer wore a piña mask and the DOST-FPRDI bamboo-framed face shield during the ASEAN AIPA meeting. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Cong. Hofer)

“We are thankful to the support given by the members of the House of Representatives to this initiative,” said DOST-FPRDI Director Romulo T. Aggangan. According to him, a number of congressmen have either commended or signified interest in adopting the bamboo-framed face shield including Deputy Speaker and 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 bamboo-framed face shield in the country. Bamboo is a perennial, woody-stemmed grass widely used in making handicrafts and furniture.

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 the 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,” ended Aggangan. ### (Apple Jean C. Martin- de Leon, 17 August 2020)