Pupils at the DOST Day Care Center (DDCC) in Bicutan, Taguig City will soon use eco-friendly furniture in their classrooms. The DOST- Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) has turned over 12 sets of Silyang Pinoy – a school furniture primarily crafted from engineered bamboo.

Developed by DOST-FPRDI, Silyang Pinoy is a multi-functional furniture (a combination of a chair and table) that easily transforms into a bed. This innovation proves invaluable during natural disasters when public schools are converted into evacuation centers.

“The Silyang Pinoy is an important innovation and is in line with DOST’s commitment to develop and support technologies in disaster preparedness, rehabilitation and recovery. Not only does it showcase modern and aesthetic design; it also highlights the versatility and potential of sustainable forest products such as bamboo,” said DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum, Jr.

Prototypes underwent strength and durability testing at the Institute's Furniture Testing Center, adhering to the PNS ISO 7173:2006 standard. Subsequently, these were distributed and tested for acceptance in schools located in disaster-prone areas, including Mandaragat Elementary and Secondary Schools in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Sto. Ñino Integrated School in Catarman, Camiguin; and Consuelo Elementary and Secondary Schools in Sta. Marcela, Apayao.

Funded by DOST-PCAARRD, the Silyang Pinoy project aimed to enhance bamboo usage, as mandated by Executive Order No. 879, series of 2010. The directive says that at least 25% of school furniture in public elementary and secondary schools in the country will be made from bamboo.

“This is an important milestone in the Institute’s effort to showcase and strengthen the promotion of Silyang Pinoy among schools in the country,” explained DOST-FPRDI OIC Director Rico J. Cabangon. “We hope that by showing the versatility of bamboo as a raw material for school furniture, we can help the local bamboo industry by enhancing the demand for bamboo poles,” he added.

The turn-over ceremony was held during the Kick-Off of DOST’s National Women’s Month Celebration last 01 March 2024, led by Secretary Solidum, DOST Assistant Secretary Diane L. Ignacio, and DOST-FPRDI OIC Director Cabangon. ### (Apple Jean C. Martin- de Leon & Precious Lynne Payuan,2024)