The demand for food, medicine, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other necessities has been an ongoing problem as the number of COVID-19 cases soars. Amidst the crisis, help in forms of donations from various private organizations and individuals continues to pour.
Phillip Tan, priesthood leader from the Davao Philippines Stake (Diocese), took the lead, along with local church members and other city volunteers, in an initiative to assemble 1,300 face shields for the frontliners in the city.
“A friend connected me to a group who were producing 3D-printed face shields. They were having challenges coping with the demand for the protective equipment,” Tan shared on how he first saw the opportunity to extend help. With the current situation in the middle of an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the city, movement has become limited.
Consequently, as most of the establishments have remain closed, it took weeks to complete sourcing the materials for the project, specifically procuring the needed polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film rolls from the manufacturing plant that locally produced and donated face shields at the early stages of the pandemic.
“We had a sufficiently good response from members who shared the costs while some individuals and families also volunteered to assemble,” Tan added. Volunteers had to scramble for materials and tools enough to complete the face shields. As public transportation was inaccessible, some were responsible for bringing the materials to the volunteers, picking up the completed items, and finally transporting it to the different beneficiaries.
Aside from church members, several other volunteers in the city, such as members of the Focolare Movement and Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center, who are both part of an interfaith group with Tan, also offered to help. “We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of the solution,” said Gloryfel Lubaton, owner of Tots Garden, whose employees took part in the initiative. FGC+, an outsourcing company also helped funding the project and assembling the items.
While the country’s frontliners risk their lives, there are many others, though in the comfort of their homes, also want to get involved in the fight against Covid-19. Josett Castro, one of the 40 volunteers, said, “During the first few days of the quarantine period, I felt I did not have enough purpose. I am very grateful that me and my family were given the opportunity to do something to protect our frontliners.”
Currently, over a thousand face shields have already been distributed throughout Davao region, alleviating the dangers faced by the heroes who are in the forefront battling against the global pandemic. Most of the distributed face shields went to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), a COVID-19 referral hospital and Philippine National Police–Davao and Davao del Norte. Others were distributed to Tagum Doctors Hospital, Samal, and to barangay health workers in Davao City.
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