Over 1,700 armchairs, made with wood confiscated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), were turned over Tuesday to three densely populated public schools in the cities of Quezon and Parañaque under the Aquino administration’s logs-to-chair project.

DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said the three schools – Pasong Tamo Elementary School and Old Balara Elementary School, both on Tandang Sora Avenue in Quezon City, and Tambo Elementary School on MIA Road in Parañaque City – were beneficiaries of a public-private partnership (PPP) project between the government and food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC).

“Through this kind of partnership, we were able to find an innovative way of turning a problem into a solution by transforming seized illegal logs into chairs for public schools. It also shows how PPPs can facilitate the delivery of basic government services,” Paje said.

A turnover ceremony was held at the Pasong Tamo Elementary School, where some 300 armchairs were officially turned over to the school management.  Another 330 armchairs were brought to Old Balara Elementary School, while the remaining 1,079 were delivered to Tambo Elementary School.

The DENR, along with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), had earlier signed a P2-million deal with JFC to produce school chairs out of seized logs.

The agreement was part of the government’s PNoy Bayanihan Project (PBP) in which the DENR turns over confiscated lumber to be made into chairs, desks and other school essentials for distribution to public schools nationwide.

Under the deal, the JFC was to shoulder the production and shipping cost of the armchairs consistent with DepEd specifications.

The DENR was to provide the wood requirements and the TESDA for the manpower and equipment.

According to Paje, the initiative “showcases the role that the private sector can play in the improvement of the country’s public education.”

            “It also greatly complements the administration’s effort to solve the shortage of classrooms and school furniture needs through the PBP, which was launched in March 2011,” he added.

He expressed gratitude to JFC for taking the effort as part of its corporate responsibility.

From 2011 to June this year, the PBP has produced 146,295 school furniture and repaired 369 school buildings using confiscated logs and lumber. (DENR Public Affairs Office)