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Responding to the need for more personal protective equipment (PPE) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the DOST- Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) produced bamboo-framed face shields for distribution to frontline services in Laguna.

The bamboo-framed face shields produced by a team led by DOST-FPRDI’s Mssrs. Froilan B. Samiano, Audel V. Mosteiro, Noel M. Medrano, Val DV Valderama and Engr. Cesar O. Austria (Photos by Audel V. Mosteiro)

“Our team had to improvise with the materials at hand because the enhanced community quarantine made it challenging to procure supplies,” explained DOST-FPRDI Director Romulo T. Aggangan.

The bamboo plant is useful beyond its poles.

Key officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) visited DOST- Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) to discuss possible collaboration in producing currency base paper (CBP) using locally available plant materials. Banknotes or paper money is printed on CBP.

DOST- FPRDI Director Romulo T. Aggangan shows the pulps used in the laboratory-scale production of CBP. Mangium, salago and abaca pulps are from locally available plants.

During the meeting, Ms. Adela S. Torres of the Institute’s Pulp and Paper Products Development Section presented the results of the laboratory-scale production of CBP handsheets.

Cooked and bleached abaca specialty pulp, salago bast fibers and mangium chips were formed into CBP handsheets at the FPRDI Pulping and Papermaking Laboratory.

“Tests showed that the handsheets’ folding endurance was similar to that of imported currency base paper, aside from having superior tear strength,” explained Torres.