By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) has identified new approaches and strategies to grow the industry that will lead to investments and job creation.
PBIDC Chairman and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez cited the need to address challenges of the country’s bamboo industry as well as new strategies to boost growth.
“We are updating our strategies and expanding the list of government agencies as well as private sector partners to be involved in the development of this industry. It will be a whole-of-nation approach to ensure sustainable progress. We are also working closely with long-time bamboo industry advocates House Deputy Speaker Deogracias Victor DV Savellano and the Philippine Chamber of Mines official Atty. Leo Dominguez,” said Lopez.
During the recent council meeting, strategies were set such as identification of more land suitable for bamboo plantation; sourcing of right species and planting materials; propagation strategies; setting up of treatment facilities; product development assistance; exploration on the potentials of bamboo fiber as well as its byproducts; and inclusion of bamboo in crop insurance. The council is also looking at establishing bamboo industries at the barangay level to provide jobs and business opportunities in the countryside.
The inclusion of the Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, State Universities and Colleges, Commission on Higher Education, Climate Change Commission, as well as National Commission on Indigenous People as partner agencies were discussed.
DTI is currently assessing its 101 Shared Service Facilities (SSF) on bamboo processing nationwide. The agency is also consolidating bamboo’s market potentials.
It will likewise tap the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for skills development, training, and scholarships on bamboo production and processing. Meanwhile, the DTI-Bureau of Philippine Standards will work on setting up standards for bamboo products.
“The goal is to make the development of the bamboo industry more inclusive. Encourage farmers to plant bamboo and provide economic activities in their communities,” Lopez added.
As one of its initiatives, the PBIDC together with industry partners showcase high-value bamboo-made products at the ongoing Manila FAME.
Contemporary designs of Filipino bamboo manufacturers and artisans are featured in the premiere lifestyle exhibitions in Asia Pacific.