The Face Shield Project in Palawan

by Matthew Escosia
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By: Shaina Semaña

 

As our hero frontliners enter the battlefield in fighting the dreaded coronavirus, they need a tough battle suit. This battle suit though, instead of metal armors and shields, are overalls and N-95 masks collectively called Personal Protective Equipment or PPEs.

According to a report from Rappler, health workers around in the Philippines need about a hundred PPEs a day and a full PPE gear can cost up to PHP 1,800 each. And while hard to source and exensive, our frontliners are in constant need for it. A lot of essential institutions, specially hospitals, are asking for help in purchasing PPEs for their frontliners. With this demand, a lot of donation drives has been done in the country that aims to help our frontliners get their PPEs.

One of these donation drives is The Face Shield Project led by eco-artist JC Enon, our highlight in today’s #SEAtizens series. The Face Shield is a Palawan-based initiative which aims to help frontliners by producing DIY (do-it-yourself) PPEs and distribute those to hospitals, air and sea ports, and checkpoints within the province of Palawan. The donation is either in the form of cash to use in buying materials to make the PPEs or the materials itself can be donated as well.

This initiative is made possible through the partnership of Junior Chamber International Puerto Princesa, Red Cross Palawan Chapter and Moto In Can. With a group of dedicated volunteers, they are able to provide PPEs to frontliners, most specially face shields.

Winner of an iCARES Earth Hero award in 2019, JC started helping frontliners through instructional videos on how to make DIY face shields, which he uploaded on YouTube for everyone to view and follow. As Vice President of JCI Puerto Princesa, a chapter of Junior Chamber International Philippines, he gathered some of his members as volunteers of the initiative and be part of the production of face shields.

JC and the rest of volunteers are doing the extra mile in helping the frontliners. As an eco-artist, most of JC’s works are sustainable and made from recycled products. For The Face Shield Project, he expressed his visions as an artist and shared tutorials on Youtube on how to make PPEs, especially face shields. In his DIY videos, he shows to create face shields using materials that can easily be found at home or bought from stores, like acetates, paper binders and thermal foams.

One of his most famous videos is the one where he showed how to use plastic bottles as face shields. It was a eco-friendly project and was very easy to follow so, a lot of people turn to the video to learn producing their own face shields. The video was shared numerous times on social media platforms and has, to date, more than 640,000 views in YouTube where it was originally posted. Comments on the YouTube videos varies from inquiries, to advices to clean and reuse the face shield, to expressing their gratitude to JC for introducing an efficient way to produce the much needed protection during this pandemic.

As of March 25, 2020, JC through The Face Shield Project have produced over 8,400 face shileds which was donated to 179 agencies and establishments. Production of PPEs and face shields are still on-going. If you wish to donate, you can check their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheFaceShieldProject/ for details.

 

SEA Wave magazine’s SEAtizens initiative is a series of inspiring stories of people in Southeast Asia who champion the human spirit by demonstrating courage, ingenuity, generosity, and selflessness amidst the current crisis.

Photos from Face Shield Project Facebook.

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