“The lack of technical knowledge, promotion and local research on bamboo hinder the development of the local bamboo industry. Bamboo offers a cheaper alternative to hardwood, timber and other raw materials used for furniture or handicraft making. We need to invest more on research and development, bamboo cultivation, processing and product development to spur economic activities,” Legarda said as she pushed for the immediate passage of Senate Bill No. 1478 or the proposed Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Act of 2017.
The bill seeks to make the country’s bamboo industry competitive while providing opportunities for local employment and establishing bamboo-based enterprises by ensuring that the industry has sufficient supply of quality raw materials through the establishment of bamboo nurseries and plantations; providing substantial and attractive incentives to investors; ensuring that it continuously receives relevant technologies and new products; providing capacity building among skilled labors; providing access to markets of bamboo products locally and internationally through aggressive trade promotions and ensuring sustainable resources in the implementation of the bamboo industry development program.
Legarda, chairperson of the Senate Committees on Finance and Climate Change, has long been advocating the use and promotion of bamboo in the country as a climate change mitigation and disaster resilience tool. “Bamboo plays an important role in climate change mitigation as it absorbs more carbon dioxide and releases more oxygen into the atmosphere than trees,” the senator said.
The said measure provides for the creation of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development (PBID) Council which shall provide the overall policy and program directions and coordinate the activities of various agencies and instrumentalities to ensure the implementation, accomplishment and periodic review and enhancement of the PBID Roadmap which sets forth programs and projects for the scientific propagation, development, management and commercialization of Philippine bamboo and bamboo products.
The bill seeks to establish Bamboo Research and Development Center and Local Bamboo Industry Development Councils in regions, provinces, cities and municipalities all over the country.
In February this year, local officials in Pampanga announced that the bamboo propagation in the province is now in full swing.
The Bamboo and Eco Village situated inside a six-hectare property in Barangay Santa Catalina in Lubao town is now producing school desks, furniture and other products.
Local businessmen and leaders urged the national government to develop techniques to maximize the use of bamboo. This is expected to lower the production cost of bamboo products like chairs, tables, house building materials, and others.
Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda Cayabyab said that 325 fully-grown clumps are planted inside the bamboo hub in Barangay Santa Catalina.
Source: Sun Star Pampanga | 23 June 2017