Dir. Erma R. Yapit (Left) and staff proudly present the initial finished product of the personalized face shields produced by the POPCOM staff.

Based on the World Health Organization, the COVID-19 virus is transmitted between people through close contact and droplets and not by airborne transmission. Evidently, data shows that the people most at risk of infection are those belonging to the older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions such as asthma, respiratory disorders, cancer and diabetic patients, and those who are in close contact with a COVID-19 patient or the frontline healthcare workers.

The number of Covid-19 cases has been increasing not only in the region but in most areas around the globe. Preventive measures such as frequent hand rubbing with alcohol or any alcohol-based sanitizers; washing with soap and water; avoiding to touch the eyes, nose, and mouth; coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow; wearing of a medical mask; maintaining physical and social distance and staying at home to prevent the spread of the virus.

However, the healthcare workers who are at the front lines to respond to the emerging pandemic are put at risk to the infection and exposed to the hazards. The current situation among the local government units shows that personal protective equipments are insufficient particularly of medical masks and respirators. Shortage of such suggested kind-hearted individuals and groups from various sectors to voluntarily develop personalized protective gears and donate them to those working at the front lines.

In like manner, POPCOM-I, through the initiative of Director Erma R. Yapit, conceptualized and produced 300 pieces of alternative protective face shields to be distributed among barangay population volunteers, check points and frontliners in La Union. This would somehow contribute to the limited supplies of the local government units and help local healthworkers and frontliners protect themselves while they serve.

POPCOM highly recognizes the significant contributions of all the people working to fight against the spread of this virus. The agency will consistently extend efforts to empower and to put people at the center of development.