*This story has been updated. See earlier version at the end of the article.
As scarcity of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) continues to affect the safety of the country’s health sector, Industrial Design (InD) faculty and students from Benilde and University of Santo Tomas (UST) have collaborated in producing safe and durable protective face shields made out of laser-cut acrylic plastic to be distributed to COVID-19 frontliners.
Medical staff wear face shields over face masks while treating patients to protect themselves against respiratory droplets that can transmit COVID-19, such as from coughs and colds. However, all kinds of PPEs have become hard to find so faculty members and students of the Industrial Design from DLS-CSB and UST collaborated to produce face shields by utilizing the use of 3D printers and laser cutting files which will be donated to medical workers.
With a few creative and resourceful members in their team, Industrial Design Faculty have been taking care of the production to ensure its quality control, while Manny Dacanay and his Industrial Design students from UST* designed and produced a safe and durable protection from the highly infectious COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with The Benildean, Industrial Design professor Joseph Rastrullo coordinated for the supplies, beneficiaries, and the logistics for the production of the face shields.*** He stated that in the span of three days, the Benilde Professors alone have made more or less 250 face shields and now, they have made more than 500 face shields with the combined effort of Benilde Professors and Junior Chamber International (JCI) Manila.
“The groups [of students and graduates] that I’ve assembled are [assigned to make] face shields and acrylic boxes [while] I’m also helping sina Ionica [a Benilde Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) student] sa PPE suits by connecting them to a factory with JCI Manila,” Rastrullo said.
The FDM Faculty also started to help in producing protective suits, calling on donations, monetary or fabric, in support of the program’s initiative in producing PPE for frontliners.
PPE shortage inspires crowdsourcing
After the initiative made by the Industrial Design Faculty, many individuals lent their time and effort to share their creativity and resourcefulness to help the frontline workers.
Former School of Design and Arts (SDA) Dean Joey Yupangco and Advancement Adviser Jay Jaboneta coordinated with the Industrial Design’s Program Chairperson Romeo Catap Jr. for support as they started to produce 3D print valves and face shields that will be distributed to Philippine General Hospital (PGH).
Meanwhile, the Benildean Industrial Design (BIND) organization and some students of the Industrial Design program have been trying to collaborate on distributing the products to Pampanga and helping out JCI Manila and Benilde Industrial Design Faculty for the production of face shields. Fidel Christopher Alejo Jr., a returnee from batch 107,**** also started to produce face shields using his own single printer that can accomodate two face shield headbands in one hour and 30 minutes.
Prof. Rastrullo also said that the face shields will be handled by JCI Manila, a premier leadership development organization and the leading global network of young active citizens with 200,000 members worldwide who are willing to render their service in delivering the products.
The team started their production run of face shields last March 25, and they are still calling for partners, sponsors, and even volunteers to donate time and materials to their initiative.
“Our former student, Razel [a Benilde Industrial Design alumnus] is trying to make our northern supplier work in Pampanga so we can take care of the hospitals [in that area] and I’m also looking to tap into Batangas naman para may suppliers tayo sa South,” he added.*****
ERRATUM: In an earlier version of the article, the following have been aforementioned and corrected accordingly:
*Mr. Dacanay and his InD students from Benilde and UST were the ones to design and produce the masks, but it was only his students from UST.
** Mr. Joey Yupangco was the former SDA Dean of Benilde, the current SDA Dean is Arch. Dottie Asela Domingo; Mr. Yupangco and Mr. Jaboneta were stated to have initiated and talked to Mr. Catap Jr to gather a group of Industrial Design students, but the project is actually a coordination among the three of them.
***Prof. Rastrullo assembled the group of InD faculty and students, but he was the one to coordinate the logistics of the face shield production. The information on the number of sets produced was insufficient prior to this update.
****Mr. Alejo Jr. was stated to be a current student of the InD program, but he is a batch 107 returnee.
*****It was earlier stated that Mr. Yupangco was the one to make their northern supplier work in Pampanga, but it was clarified that this was by Benilde InD alumnus named Razel.
Cover Photo by Kai Javier