Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

PNOY Bayanihan project of PAGCOR, DepED, TESDA and DENR donates 3,900 armchairs to 2 schools in Caraga region

Friday | February 03, 2012 | 5:50 PM

BUTUAN CITY – The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), together with the Department of Education (DepEd), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), donated today 3,900 armchairs to two of the most populated schools in the CARAGA Region.

PAGCOR breaks monthly income record anew
The students of Agusan National High School (ANHS) received on February 3, 2012 the 2,000 brand new armchairs donated by PAGCOR, DepED, DENR and TESDA under the Pnoy Bayanihan project. A joint undertaking of the four agencies, the project intends to reduce the number of armchairs shortage in public schools nationwide through the manufacture of school chairs using confiscated illegal logs. PAGCOR set aside an initial funding of P100 million for the Pnoy Bayanihan Project.

Butuan Central Elementary School (BCES), which currently has over 5,000 enrolees, received 1,900 armchairs. The donation reduced the school’s armchair backlog to 100. Meanwhile, the 2,000 armchairs given to Agusan National High School (ANHS) substantially lessened the school’s armchair shortage of 5,458. ANHS has a total population of more than 9,000 students.

To date , 6,096 armchairs have been donated to nine public schools in Butuan City. Apart from BCES and ANHS, the other schools that received new chairs are the Butuan City School of Arts and Trades (800), Libertad Elementary School (186), Villa Kanangga Elementary School (260), La Trinidad Elementary School (450), Ong Yiu Elementary School (100), Kinamlutan Elementary School (50), and San Vicente Elementary School (350).

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. said the Pnoy Bayanihan project’s objective is to help solve the backlog on school desks in public schools nationwide. “Through this project, we are manufacturing thousands of school desks or armchairs using confiscated logs from illegal loggers.”

“Dahil sa mga donasyong ito ay marami nang estudyante sa CARAGA region ang hindi na kailangang makipag-agawan sa upuan o di kaya ay maupo sa sahig sa tuwing sila ay nagkaklase,” the PAGCOR chief said during the turn-over ceremony in Butuan Central Elementary School and Agusan National High School.

It is estimated that the public school sector lacks at least 2.5 million chairs in 45,000 public elementary and high schools nationwide. Secretary Luistro said the Pnoy Bayanihan project aims to end this backlog by June 2013. “Hindi na natin hihintayin pang matapos ang term ng ating mahal na Pangulo bago tuluyang masolusyunan ang problemang ito. Agad nating tatapusin ito sa susunod na taon.”

Secretary Luistro also thanked PAGCOR for bankrolling the Pnoy Bayanihan project. “Hulog po ng Diyos sa DepED, DENR at TESDA si Chairman Naguiat at ang PAGCOR,” he said. The state-owned gaming firm allotted an initial P100 million funding for the retrofitting of existing TESDA and DepEd facilities. It also financed the woodworking facilities established by TESDA in 10 sites nationwide.

PAGCOR breaks monthly income record anew
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr., DepED Secretary Armin Luistro, and TESDA Secretary General Joel Villanueva spearheaded the turn-over of the school chairs. To date, a total of 6,096 arm chairs have been donated to nine schools in the CARAGA region by the Pnoy Bayanihan project.

The partnership among PAGCOR, DepEd, TESDA and DENR was forged in response to the directive of President Benigno Aquino III to work together and fast-track the production of school furniture made out of logs confiscated by the DENR from illegal loggers.

TESDA Secretary General Joel Villanueva, for his part, stated that around 15,000 chairs are still due for delivery to other schools. “By April, depende sa delivery ng logs ng DENR, sinisiguro po namin na zero backlog na ang buong CARAGA Region pagdating sa armchairs,” he vowed. TESDA is presently looking at other provinces that have needs for additional armchairs like Isabela and Quezon.

PAGCOR, DepED, DENR and TESDA officials noted that the Pnoy Bayanihan project makes one problem like illegal logging a solution to one of the perennial problems of the country’s education sector. It is like returning to the nation the illegal logs that were taken by illegal loggers.

Naguiat stressed that a lot of things need to be done to address the concerns of the education sector. “PAGCOR, through the help of other concerned agencies like the DepED, TESDA and DENR, will try to do its part in improving basic education.”

The PAGCOR chief added that the state-run gaming agency also set aside a P1 billion funding for the “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan Project” which aims to build 1,000 classrooms nationwide.

“We are also looking at promoting the sport of football at the grassroots level all over the country by holding football festivals this year. We’re discussing this matter with the Philippine Football Federation. We see a bright future for the Philippines in football,” he noted.

Meantime, BCES School Principal Rey Collado said that they have more than 2,000 usable armchairs and school desks, but these are not enough to serve all their pupils who attend either morning or afternoon classes. The chairs are also over 10 years old and are always sent for restoration.

“Being the largest public elementary school in the CARAGA region, the BCES is faced with the difficulty of accommodating its ever increasing number of enrolees. Apart from lack of learning spaces, we are always faced with the problem of providing comfortable chairs to our students. The 1,900 armchairs we got from the Pnoy Bayanihan project would be a big help to our school and our students,” Collado cited.

Jeaneva Marie Amper, a graduating elementary pupil and student council leader at BCES, expressed delight over their brand new armchairs. “Mas makakapag-concentrate na po kami ngayon sa mga lessons namin kasi sigurado nang may mauupuan kami habang nagkaklase. Maraming salamat po at napili ang school namin na mabigyan ng mga bagong armchairs ng Pnoy Bayanihan project,” Amper cheerfully noted.

ANHS School Principal Peter Esterioso, on the other hand, explained that at least two students share a school bench in every classroom, and the limited elbow space makes them less comfortable. “With the 2,000 armchairs that we received under the Pnoy Bayanihan project, students no longer have to endure sitting on wooden benches for hours.”

Also present during the turn-over rites of the Pnoy Bayahanihan armchairs to the CARAGA schools were Agusan del Norte Representatives Joboy Aquino (1st Dirstrict) and Angel Amante (2nd District), Agusan del Sur 1st District Representative Valentina Plaza, and Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante,

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