By Dhel Nazario
Can bamboo mats be used as material in crafting body armors that can save our soldiers’ lives?
The Department of Science and Technology’s Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) recently found that the woven bamboo mat paired with a stainless steel plate can be used for bullet-resistant vest for pistol shots. The vest was light enough for use in combat and 700 percent cheaper than most imported body armors.
According to DOST-FPRDI’s Director Romulo T. Aggangan, “This was an initial study in support of the Department of National Defense’s (DND) Self-Reliant Defense Posture (SRDP) Program.
SRDP seeks to help the country become self-sufficient in its basic military needs by producing its own weapons such as small arms, ammunitions, and tactical communications equipment, among others.
On January 2018, the DOST and Department of National Defense (DND) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which provided a framework for their scientific and technical cooperation to achieve SRDP.
Under the DND-DOST partnership, DOST-FPRDI has committed to develop explosives and propellants using local materials such as abaca, and gums and resins from native forest tree species.
“After research and development, we will be piloting promising production processes to see if they are technically and financially viable as well as environmentally and socially acceptable,” Aggangan said.
“Our goal is to help boost the country’s internal defense capability, given the security threat posed by both communist insurgents and Islamic extremists,” he added.