TACLOBAN CITY – Over 300 public schools in Eastern Visayas are expecting to receive tables and chairs for students and teachers by October.

In an interview, Jasmin Calzita, DepEd Eastern Visayas regional information officer, said procurement is ongoing at the central office and the school furniture will be shipped to the region by October.

The school furniture program for the region amounting to P220 million, includes 99,605 sets of chairs and tables, will benefit 312 public campuses and under the 2021 and 2022 appropriations.

“The procurement is based on the actual assessment done by school officials in the past school years. While waiting for the delivery, we pull out excess furniture from other schools for use in nearby campuses with furniture shortage,” Calzita told the Philippine News Agency.

The region expects the delivery of 71,110 individual chairs and tables set for elementary pupils, 24,762 for junior high school learners, 2,028 for senior high school, 1,495 chairs and tables set for teachers, 168 working table and stool sets, and 42 science laboratory working table and stool sets.

Under its eight-year procurement plan that started in 2021, DepEd is eyeing to provide one seat and one table to every learner as mandated by Republic Act 11394, or An Act Mandating Public and Private Educational Institutions to Provide Neutral Desks to Students, said Calzita.

A neutral desk, according to the law, is a table or an armchair suitable for left-handed or right-handed students.

The DepEd standard design of armchairs is made of all wood, or a combination of wood and steel, engineered bamboo, and nonwood-based materials will be adopted.

Calzita said the top priority will be given to schools that are recipients of new classrooms under the school building program of the national government and local governments.
The next priority is schools in need of classroom seats as found in the latest furniture analysis.

However, Calzita has no record of how much furniture is needed by the region’s over 4,000 public schools.

As of Aug. 31 or the third day of the new academic year, the region has already recorded 1,113,969 enrollment, representing 86.96 percent of the actual registered learners in the previous school year.