Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

Ramon Magsaysay High School receives 500 new armchairs from PNOY Bayanihan Project

The days when students of Ramon Magsaysay High School in Cubao, Quezon City had to sit on floors while attending their classes are finally over after 500 new armchairs under the PNOY Bayanihan Project was formally turned over today to the school.

Ramon Magsaysay High School receives 500 new armchairs from PNOY Bayanihan Project
(Photo:) DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro (2nd from left) is joined by DENR Secretary Ramon Paje (left), TESDA Secretary General Joel Villanueva (3rd from left), PAGCOR President and COO Jorge V. Sarmiento (3rd from right), Dr. Corazon Rubio (DepEd) and Ramon Magsaysay High School Principal Josefina Perlado during the turn-over of 500 armchairs to the public high school. The donation was part of the government’s PNOY Bayanihan project which aims to address the school furniture shortage in the country through the collaboration of DENR, DepEd, PAGCOR and TESDA.

“Prior to the donation, 12 classrooms in Ramon Magsaysay High School have no chairs,” says Josefina Perlado, School Principal. “With 6,718 students, we really need outside help to improve the learning environment of our students. Ngayon, zero backlog na kami! I believe our students will be inspired to improve their academic performance,” she said.

The school was chosen by the Department of Education (DepEd) as the first beneficiary of the PNOY Bayanihan Project, a joint undertaking between the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Early this year, the four agencies signed a Memorandum of Agreement in response to the directive of President Benigno Aquino III to work together and fast-track the production of school furniture made out of confiscated logs.

DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro, one of the agency heads who graced the turn-over rites, expressed his gratitude to PAGCOR, TESDA and DENR for helping address the needs of the education sector such as the lack of school facilities and furniture.

Luistro earlier said public schools have a shortage of more than 2.5 million chairs and desks in a year. “Nagpapasalamat kami sa mga ahensya ng gobyernong tumulong sa proyektong ito.”

Ramon Magsaysay High School receives 500 new armchairs from PNOY Bayanihan Project
(Photo:) Ramon Magsaysay High School declared a “zero backlog” on school desks and armchairs after receiving 500 armchairs, made possible by the PNOY Bayanihan Project.

PAGCOR provided P100 million to fund the retrofitting of existing TESDA and DepED facilities. It will also fund woodworking facilities that will be established by TESDA in ten sites nationwide.

“PAGCOR is privileged to help uplift the education system in the country. We are very glad to be of help to Ramon Magsaysay High School and join other government agencies in this noble cause,” PAGCOR President and COO Jorge Sarmiento said.

Meanwhile, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said public schools nationwide have long been suffering from the perennial shortage of school furniture. “We are glad to be in a project such as the PNOY Bayanihan that will help address this need,” he said.

Villanueva said once the equipment from PAGCOR are in place, they are hoping to produce about 20,000 desks and armchairs per month. Currently, TESDA has employed 60 woodworkers who have acquired certification in furniture making. The Agusan del Sur School of Arts and Trade serve as TESDA’s production site for the confiscated logs from Mindanao.

According to DENR Secretary Ramon Paje, the confiscated logs from the CARAGA region alone, is 10 million board feet. “We will donate all of that to DepEd. Tumatagal lang ng konti kasi yung absorption capacity ng TESDA ay limited. They have limited carpenters and woodworkers.”

Paje noted that confiscated logs used to be turned over to the Natural Resources Bidding. But most of the winning bidders were the illegal loggers themselves. “We are glad that under this project, we deprive illegal loggers of their loot,” he explained.

The donation to the Ramon Magsaysay High School is only the first in a series of donations that will be carried out by the PNOY Bayanihan project. The production of the armchairs and school desks are continuously being done, and these will soon be distributed in several public schools in the CARAGA Region.

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