As front liners continue to face exhaustion and risk their own lives to combat the spread of COVID-19, a group of public school teachers in San Fabian, Pangasinan has taken part in the battle by serving as back liners — providing personal protective equipment (PPE) out of recycled materials found in every classroom.

More than 250 handmade face shields collaboratively produced by 18 teachers of San Fabian East Central Elementary School were given to front liners in all entry and exit points of the locality since Tuesday, March 31.

Sir Denton Caballero, 44, initiated the work of providing face shields to front liners after he learned from the news an upsurge of infected front liners due to shortage of protective gears.

Since no substantial funding is available, Caballero and his co-teachers contributed money from their own pockets to purchase duct tape and foam aside from the recycled clear file folder they already had.

Other than face shields, Caballero and his co-teachers were also making 600 face masks made of cloth they purchased from the money they raised.

As of this writing, the group has distributed hundreds of face shields to front liners comprising of military officers, police officers, barangay officials, health workers, market vendors, and staff of the Municipal Health Unit of San Fabian.

Despite the risk of getting infected by the disease and the ongoing lockdown, these teachers successfully got the permission to personally deliver their face shields to front liners on-duty.

“I believe that it is innate for us humans to love others. I am driven with the desire to help because of Jehovah God. I would like to help them specially our front liners because they are the ones who are most vulnerable of COVID-19. Since I do not have the capacity to help them financially, I decided to make face shields using materials that are found in our classrooms. It may not be at par with the PPE being sold in the market but at least it could help and lessen the transmission of the virus,” Caballero said.

In view of the increasing number of COVID-19 infection, Caballero vowed to continue serving as a back liner, working silently at home for our heroic front liners.

By Edison R. Mendoza