Women standing in front of testing booths they have received

The rapid spread of the coronavirus disease in 2020 affected the livelihood and safety of the Filipino people. One of the problems faced by the Philippines during the vast increase of COVID-19 cases is the limited personal protective equipment (PPE) available for frontliners and health workers. To address this problem, the University of the Philippines Los Baños Startup Innovation and Business Opportunity Linkage Fabrication Laboratory (UPLB SIBOL FabLab) initiated the fabrication of testing booths for hospitals.

The UPLB SIBOL FabLab is the third major fabrication laboratory in Region IV-A formally inaugurated on 23 October 2019. It is equipped with P14.313M array of state-of-the-art computer-aided machines and equipment funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). This set of equipment includes 3D printers, 3D scanners, ULS laser cutter, and other digital fabrication equipment.

In consultation with doctors, researchers, and engineers, UPLB was able to develop a design for a testing booth that can protect hospitals and medical personnel from getting infected while gathering swabs from patients. The first testing booths fabricated by UPLB were given to hospitals in and around Los Baños, Laguna, namely, University Health Service of UPLB, Los Baños Doctor’s Hospital, St. Jude Family Hospital, and HealthServ Los Baños Medical Center.

With funding from TAU Alpha fraternity, the UPLB Planning and Management Office was able to procure materials to fabricate 50 more testing booths that were distributed across Luzon (ranging from Laoag to Bicol region). Most of the recipients were from CALABARZON and National Capital Region. UPLB SIBOL was also able to fabricate parts for prototype ventilator, birthing booths, dental shields for dentists, and 3D printed ear savers.♦

Date of Release: 22 March 2021