TESDA To Turn Seized Logs Into School Furnitures

22 March 2011

Partners with Pagcor, DENR, DepEd

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has forged a partnership with three government agencies to help address the shortage of school furniture in the country using confiscated logs.

On Tuesday, TESDA signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Education (DepEd) and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to “jointly oversee the conversion of confiscated logs and lumber as well as the conversion of legally-sourced lumber into school furniture.”

Dubbed the “PNoy Bayanihan: A Partnership for Education and Livelihood,” the project also aims at providing livelihood opportunities in identified production sites using wood and its by-products.

Along with the drive to gather the hot logs, the government also aims to intensify its efforts to curb their illegal sources.

Under the agreement, at least 10 productions sites with wood manufacturing facilities will be installed under the supervision of TESDA.

The agency will have links to registered forest plantations, including those government-backed forestry programs by upland communities, for their wood supply.

PAGCOR will provide a P100-million funding for the retrofitting of TESDA and DepEd facilities or for the establishment of the production sites, including their initial operating expenses.

To date, the DENR has an inventory of some 17,608 cubic meters (7.47 million board feet) of confiscated logs that have been either donated or due for donation to DepEd.

“Our intervention here is to provide training to wood makers who will turn these hot logs into useful furniture such as tables, chairs and cabinets for our public schools who badly need them,” TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said.

Even as the logs were obtained illegally, Villanueva said the government could not just allow them to go waste, but instead turn them into something beneficial for the students.

In coordination with local government units and people’s organizations, TESDA will assist in the selection and recruitment of production workers who will be trained to manufacture the furniture in the 10 production sites.

It will provide technical and administrative assistance, apply competency standards, training methodologies, competency assessment instruments and other programs relevant for the successful implementation of the project.

Prospective furniture production workers will undergo specific training on furniture-making and will be issued certificates under the specialized School Furniture Production Technology.

As the primary agency in charge of going after illegal loggers and their haul, the DENR will turn over the confiscated logs to the TESDA Production Sites.

It was also tasked to tap other government agencies and institutions to address the logistical requirements of the projects, including the Department of National Defense, which is assigned to provide the transportation, equipment and escorts, since some of the logs and lumber are stockpiled in areas with peace and order problems.

As the end users of the project, the DepEd will identify the design, specification, volume and other requirements needed for the manufacture of the school furniture. It will also facilitate the delivery of the furniture to specific schools.

The department will pay for every chair, table and other furniture and fixture manufactured by the 10 production sites in a price agreed upon with TESDA, but which should not be higher than the average purchase price of DepEd for the past two years.

The DepEd will also solicit the participation of Parents-Teachers Community Associations to ensure that the right quantities and quality of school furniture are delivered. The associations will assist DepEd in the assembly of school furniture parts into complete units with the guidance of TESDA trainers and specialists.

The MOA was backed by Memorandum Order No. 162 issued in 1993, and amended in 1995 that considers public school building as the priority beneficiaries of the use of confiscated logs in the country.

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