SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – September 18 is World Bamboo Day.To highlight the importance of bamboo as a highly renewable and sustainable resource, the DA Bicol once more marked the 2nd year celebration of the World Bamboo Day through a bamboo tree planting activity at the DA grounds.
Rodel P. Tornilla, DA Bicol Regional Executive Director together with Luz R. Marcelino, Regional Technical Director for Operations, led the tree planting activity which was participated in by the division chiefs and selected staff.
In the Memorandum issued by Agriculture Secretary William Dar on February 7, 2020, the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) was directed to include bamboo as one of the priority crops under HVCDP. Director Tornilla said that DA aims to promote the bamboo industry as a source of income for farmers and entrepreneurs via creation of a venue for learning.
Dr. Mary Grace DP. Rodriguez, Chief of the DA Bicol Field Operations Division and regional coordinator of HVCDP said that DA has started the establishment of a 20-hectare plantation of Beema bamboo intercropped with mungbean in barangay Pamplona, Del Gallego, Camarines Sur since last year.
Beema is a good raw material for furniture, handicraft and cottage industries, power generation projects, paper industries, and construction, thus a potential source of livelihood for farmers.
Demand for bamboo in the Philippines is steadily increasing with the proliferation of small and medium enterprises engaged in the production of Engineered Bamboo Products (EBPs) or manufactured bamboo furniture and bamboo-based finished goods. These EBPs can substitute for solid wood and can be turned into exquisite furniture and handicrafts (fprdi.dost.gov.ph). However, the demand is not currently met.
In Bicol, several towns in Camarines Sur province are engaged in bamboo craft industry. Among them is the town of Bula which has chosen bamboo as its major product for development under the One Town One Product (OTOP) concept of the Department of Trade and Industry. Bamboo also has ecological benefits as it minimizes soil erosion and stabilizes river banks. Bamboo thrives in a wide range of site conditions making it a suitable reforestation species for environmental protection.
World Bamboo Day was first organized in 2009 in Bangkok. This year’s national theme is Alay ng Bayan sa Inang Kalikasan: KAWAYAN. (Lovella P. Guarin RAFIS 5 / photo credit HVCDP 5)