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PIA Press Release
Monday, January 30, 2012


Feature: 4 Cabinet members turnover 6,000 armchairs

by Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr.

Some cabinet secretaries will converge on the morning of February 3, 2012 at the Butuan Central Elementary School (BCES) for a short program.

They will lock arms to purposely do a ceremonial turnover ceremony for an initial batch of 6,000 armchairs at the adjacent Agusan National High School (ANHS), both of which are located in this city.

Secretaries Armin A. Luistro, Ramon J. Paje, and Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva of the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) respectively and Chairman Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) gave assurance to grace the said occasion if only to ceremonially endow new armchairs for the pupils and students of the following schools here: ANHS; BCES; Butuan City School of Arts and Trade (BCSAT); Gabriel Elementary School; J. T. Domingo Central Elementary School; Libertad Central Elementary School (LCES); San Vicente Elementary School; and Villa Kananga Elementary School.

Peter G. Esterioso, Principal IV of ANHS, was thankful with this upcoming turn of events because “this will be our first time to receive such volume of armchairs produced through the P-Noy Bayanihan Project.”

He shared that “there are at least seven new rooms needing about 420 armchairs, plus several hundreds more that need replacement or major repair.” Thus, “this Project,” he pointed out, “would really be heaven sent for our students here, numbering about 9,037.”

According to Lita Furia of TESDA Caraga, as of this writing, 2,000 armchairs were already delivered for ANHS, 1,900 for BCES, 800 for BCSAT, and 400 for LCES or a total of 5,100.

Based on estimates provided by DepEd for year 2011 alone, 1,640,822 armchairs are at least lacking across the country, and the same list shows that Caraga has 39,480 armchair shortages.

The initial 6,000 armchairs to be turned over were produced by 110 trainees cum producers at the Agusan del Sur School of Arts and Trade, which is a TESDA-administered school, in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur since March 2011.

The production scheme is under the education and livelihood component of the P-Noy Bayanihan Project through the convergence of the aforementioned four government agencies. The partnership arrangement, which seeks to produce arm chairs and other furniture items for DepEd schools in at least 10 production sites across the country, was signed on the 22ndday of March 2011 by the four secretaries concerned.

Secretary Villanueva considers the Bayanihan Project as one of his flagship programs, considering that it “ensures the development and utilization of the nation’s manpower, promotes employment, and accelerates economic and social growth” manifested or realized through TESDA’s identified training institutions nationwide.

Edwin C. Gatinao, TESDA Caraga Regional Director, revealed that in compliance with the directive coming from TESDA Central Office, “I always spend no less than two days per week just to see with my eyes and ensure that the production of armchairs will be on target.” He further revealed that ASSAT facilities underwent retrofitting with tools and equipment provided for by PAGCOR, to include also borrowing from other TESDA institutions.

As per Memo of Agreement, DENR’s role is to turn over confiscated logs, lumber and other forest products – particularly those without pending cases in court – to TESDA production sites.

It used to be that illegal logs confiscated by the DENR were mostly relegated to the yards and ponds, left unattended until the same would be rotten and wasted for naught.

But things look upbeat now because the once useless piles of logs are now being put into use through the P-Noy Bayanihan School Furniture Production Program and the proof of the pudding is the said initial batch of 6,000 armchairs that will be delivered to the beneficiary schools.

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