Villanueva seeks aid for manufacture of anti-COVID 19 equipment

SENATOR Joel Villanueva has reiterated the call of state universities and colleges (SUC) who have issued separate appeals for the public to provide them with raw materials and other forms of support to manufacture sorely needed equipment by frontline healthcare workers treating patients such as face shields.

Villanueva cited the various efforts of SUCs who have volunteered to use their equipment such as 3D printers to produce face shields for frontline healthcare workers.

“We join in the appeal of our academic community which has been responding to the national emergency brought by COVID-19 in their own way,” said the lawmaker, who chairs the Senate Committee on Higher, Technical, and Vocational Education. “Our higher education institutions are located strategically allowing them to provide support and assistance to their respective home provinces.”

Different campuses of the University of the Philippines have pitched in as well, starting with its National Institute of Health which developed the COVID-19 test kit. The kit is undergoing accreditation by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Philippine Genome Center-Mindanao has proposed the construction of a diagnostic facility to complement the existing capacity of Southern Philippine Medical Center in testing for patient samples.

UP Diliman’s College of Engineering and UP Cebu also began using their 3D printers to produce face shields.

Meanwhile, Samar State University (SSU) in Catbalogan City volunteers its quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction machine to the Department of Health which would help expand its capacity to process samples of patients suspected of contracting COVID-19.

“If similar equipment is readily available in our universities and colleges across the country, we encourage university administrators to consider lending it so that we can immediately expand our government’s capability to test patients,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva also credited the different initiatives of SUCs such as Batangas State University, Cebu Technological University and Capiz State University for producing face shields for frontline workers using their respective 3D printers.

Universities producing face shields have appealed to the public for donation of raw materials and other kinds of support to allow them to continue their operations.

Other SUCs such as Central Luzon State University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, SSU, and Tarlac State University produced batches of alcohols and disinfectants which they donated to public medical facilities and their respective local government units which oversee the enforcement of quarantine in their areas.

“The efforts of our academic community will go a long way as we pool our collective effort to beat the virus,” Villanueva said.