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The DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) recently distributed bamboo-abaca hands-free disinfectant dispensers and foot baths to several establishments and government offices in Los Baños, Laguna.

The bamboo dispenser releases alcohol when someone steps on the connected foot bath while the abaca acts as a sponge that disinfects the pressing footwear. The device was developed by the Institute in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

A total of 10 prototypes were provided to the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB); DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD); DOST-CALABARZON; Los Baños Municipal Office; Los Baños Doctors Hospital; Los Baños Municipal Health Office; the vaccination hub in Brgy. Batong Malake; Centro Mall, Diocesan Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus; and Brgy. Hall of Batong Malake.

The distribution was also geared at prototype testing, to evaluate the dispenser’s usability and acceptability.

DOST-FPRDI’s Florena Samiano explains the dispenser’s hands-free mechanism to Los Baños Mayor Hon. Antonio L. Kalaw.
DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora tries on the no-touch disinfectant dispenser

Some units were also given to Brgy. Batong Malake, Los Banos, Laguna.

Aside from the dispenser, several FPRDI face shields made from lapnis were also provided to Los Baños frontliners, such as members of the Sangguniang Barangay of Batong Malake (Photo from Brgy. Batong Malake’s Facebook page).

According to Project Leader Florena B. Samiano, “DOST-FPRDI advocates the sustainable use of local forest resources to help protect the public against COVID-19 infection. The use of natural products such as bamboo and abaca is very promising as these are two of the most economically important, widely available resources in the country. They are also eco-friendly because they are biodegradable.”

The distribution was held last 06 July 2021 as part of the Institute’s 64th anniversary celebration. . ### (Apple Jean C. Martin- de Leon, 07 July 2021)