Volunteers donate 3D- printed face shields for frontliners

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 24, 2020   •   1219

MANILA, Philippines — There is an apparent shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) supply in the country amid its deadly battle with COVID-19.

Some private hospitals have resorted to using old linen as improvised masks due to the supply deficit.

And like an unexpected twist in a movie, a group of individuals banded together to help the country’s frontliners by providing PPEs through 3D printing.

“Ang paggawa ng mabuti ay hindi magbubunga ng masama, (Good deeds will bear no evil fruit)” Roniel Tamayo said.

Roniel is part of the 3D Printing For a Cause group in the Philippines where hobbyists and business owners use their 3D printers to make DIY face shields and face masks.

He recalled that they saw a video of 3D printers abroad being used to make oxygen bags for COVID patients.

“From there, siguro naka-isip iyong creator ng group na ‘Bakit hindi natin gawin iyan dito sa Pilipinas? Mag-print din tayo ng magagamit ng mga frontliners natin kasi kulang sila sa mga PPE’ (The creator of the group said, ‘Why not do that here in the Philippines? We should print items that can be used by our frontliners because they lack PPEs),” he said.

As of March 23, the group has received more than 13,000 face shield requests from hospitals, clinics, as well as from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Roniel said the group has fulfilled 2,123 requests with 15.25% fulfillment rate.

It is not yet half the total number of requests, but the group is facing another obstacle: lack of materials.

Roniel said due to the temporary closure of office supply stores, they are finding it difficult to find acetate that will be attached to the 3D-printed headbands to form the face shield for the frontliners.

The group is looking for anyone who wish to donate materials so that they could continue their cause.

“Sa mga mamamayan po na gustong tumulong or mag-donate, pwede po kayong mag-donate ng acetate, garter, foam, at iyong mga filament na siyang pangunahin namin ginagamit para sa pag-print nitong face shields, (For citizens who wish to help or donate, you may send acetates, garters, foams and filaments which we mainly use for creating face shields),” he said.

For volunteers contact Denis Ty at 09175908281 and for donations contact Ivan Listanco at 09177754993.-AAC

DOH sets SRP for face shields at P26 to P50 per piece

Marje Pelayo   •   August 13, 2020

 MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday (August 13) issued the suggested retail price (SRP) for non-medical grade face shields for community use ranging from P26.00 to P50.00 per piece.

Any amount above the SRP is considered overpriced. 

Likewise, DOH Memorandum 2020-0345 states that 10 allowable variations to the SRP may be added to account for the distribution cost for Visayas and Mindanao areas.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo made rounds in Bambang, Manila City to check the prices of face shields sold in medical supply stores.

The DTI discovered that the price of face shields with foam starts at P65 in several stores while the China-made plastic face shields are priced at P30 to P45.

In other stores that sell face shields by bulk, the items are sold at P28 per piece with a minimum order requirement of 200 pieces.

Other sellers limit a customer’s purchase to 10 pieces only, due to a limited supply.

Castelo said face shields sold at P100 per piece are indeed overpriced.

The DTI has received several complaints of overpricing after the Transportation department announced that beginning August 15, wearing face shields will be mandatory in all public utility vehicles and workplaces.

“Kasi alam natin kung magkano ang presyo niya before nag-announce ang DOTr. Hindi siya P100 kundi nasa P30, P34, P40 lang (We know how much it costs before DOTr announced its directive. It wasn’t P100 but P30, P34, P40 only) so it’s unfair ,unconscionable and already a violation of the Consumer Act,” Castelo said. 

DTI Undersecretary Castelo said they could file cases against businesses that take advantage of face shield pricing.

The agency warned that businesses and individuals who will be found overpricing their goods will face charges for violation of the Consumer Act, and will be penalized with a fine or imprisonment depending on the degree of their offense. MNP (with inputs from Joan Nano)

Business owners in Manila reminded to sell face shields at a fair price

Robie de Guzman   •   August 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila City government has reminded business owners in the city not to take advantage of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic by selling essential goods and other products at higher prices.

The city’s bureau of permits issued the reminder on Tuesday following reports that some business owners are selling face shields at P100 a piece.

“I don’t think this is the time to take advantage of our public,” Manila’s Bureau of Permits Director Levi Facundo said in a statement.

“Nasa panahon po tayo ng pandemya, maraming nahihirapan. Alam kong apektado rin ang negosyo, pero apektado rin ang mamimili natin dahil sila’y nawalan rin ng trabaho, ng hanap-buhay,” he added.

While the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has not yet released an official suggested retail price (SRP) for face shields, Facundo said that its price should not go beyond P25.

He assured that once an official SRP has been set for face shields, the local government will strictly monitor the pricing of all businesses in the nation’s capital and warned to go after businesses that will be selling the item above its price cap.

He also advised consumers to take extra precaution in buying medical equipment online as they may be scammed.

“If you feel na ang isang nagbebenta ay hindi legit o kaya hindi nag-o-overprice, let us know. We will coordinate with DTI, we will send them show cause order, and pagpapaliwanagin natin,” Facundo said.

DOH eyes imposing SRP on face shields

Marje Pelayo   •   August 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has ordered the mandatory use of face shields in all public transport effective August 15.

This prompted a surge in prices of face shields ranging from P30 to P60 in local markets.

Thus, the Department of Health (DOH) is considering applying a suggested retail price (SRP) on face shields.

The DOH has jurisdiction over medical supplies and has to consider face shield as one to set an SRP.

The Department will examine the main materials used in making face shields to determine a reasonable price for each piece. 

The SRP is expected to be out next week. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

READ: Face shields required for public transport passengers starting August 15

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