Lack of school chairs in the Philippines

The Dept. of Education believes it has a solution to the suffocating perennial problem of lack of school chairs nationwide.

It says this will soon be a thing of the past as new chairs will be manufactured out of the logs confiscated by the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources before the opening of classes next June.

Thanks to the fast food conglomerate Jollibee Food Corporation , which took the initiative to extend its goodwill and support to the Philippine education sector.

Officials did not say how many logs in cubic meters had been confiscated and how many chairs would be made from the seized logs.

The company has donated P2 million pesos this week under a Memorandum of Agreement it forged with DepEd, DENR and Technical Education Skills Development Authority at the DepEd’s Bulwagan ng Karunungan Complex in Pasig City.

Official sources say the agreement improves the camaraderie among the three key government agencies as well as encourages the participation and generosity of a private sector like JFC — in addressing the shortage of school arm chairs faced by DepEd with the coordination of DENR and TESDA.

Officials said they will all work together in accordance with the “Pnoy Bayanihan Project” and hope to gain mutual benefits.

One good aspect of the agreement cited, according to officials, is the conversion of illegal logs seized by the DENR from unscrupulous sectors to materials like the arm chairs that will benefit the students.

DENR Secretary Ramon Paje says he has been instructed by President Benigno S. Aquino III to convert the confiscated illegal logs into lumber and useful materials that will serve best the interest of the less fortunate, needy and affected sectors of society especially those devastated by strong typhoons.

“It is but fitting to make arm chairs and other useful materials out of that confiscated illegal logs, after all the confiscated illegal logs actually belong to the future generations of our society who were being robbed of their rights to enjoy the benefits of these trees being cut and stolen from them,” TESDA Director General Emmanuel Joel Villanueva said.

According to Villanueva, it helps that the private sector, like JFC, has participated in the project, adding that is one among fast-food conglomerates committed “not only in providing good and quality foods and service to the Filipino people but also possessing good heart filled with social responsibility who responded early to the call to contribute to the realization of the project that will not only benefit the school children but also the trainees from the TESDA livelihood programs.”

Villanueva added the project will provide livelihood for the TESDA trainees who will benefit from the project by receiving allowances while honing their skills and learning in manufacturing the arm chairs.

“Old sayings and quotations rich in high moral values that express love for country, environment and camaraderie will be written and painted at the back of the chairs,” Paje stressed during the signing ceremony.

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