Gov’t allocates over P22B for bamboo industry

Published March 23, 2021, 7:30 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The government has allocated at least P22 billion for the development of bamboo industry in the country from 2021 to 2022 as the high value added forest product has good export potential, wide industry applications, and jobs creation.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said at the North Luzon and Central Luzon Virtual Bamboo Summit that for 2021 government agencies are implementing P594 million worth of projects while the Development Bank of the Philippines is making available P10 billion in loans for the industry. 

For 2022, a total of P1.4 billion-worth of projects have been proposed for that budget cycle, and about P10 billion-worth of loans again will be again made available.

“Our aim is to plant 23,671 hectares of bamboo nationwide for 2021 and 40,000 hectares for 2022,” said Lopez. 

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez. (ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO FILE PHOTO)

On DTI’s part, Lopez said the agency has provided support for bamboo agri-business and bamboo processing to cooperatives, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), associations, and local government units (LGUs) through its Shared Services Facilities (SSF) Program and other technical assistance. 

DTI has also provided training to help them develop value-add for their bamboo products. Last year, DTI implemented projects worth around P15 million in 11 regions, of which P9 million were allocated to North and Central Luzon. 

For 2021, DTI will be implementing projects amounting to around P41 million in 12 regions, of which P20 million will be allocated to North and Central Luzon. 

For 2022, the DTI is proposing projects worth around P545 million  in 13 regions, of which about P14 million shall be allocated in North Luzon and Central Luzon. 

To support the Bamboo Industry Roadmap 2020-2022, Lopez said the whole-of-government approach has resulted in the implementation of a number of projects that would help us to fulfill the goals of our roadmap. 

Last year, eight government agencies—including DTI—had implemented a total of P441 million-worth of projects related to the various aspects of meeting the roadmap’s objectives of bamboo development. 

Likewise, the DBP has made P10 billion-worth of loans available for would-be bamboo farmers. As a result, 16,867 hectares have been planted to bamboo nationwide for the year 2020, a little more than the target of 16,687.

Lopez reiterate the goals and benefits of developing a strong Philippine bamboo industry and its value chain. 

“By planting more bamboo trees to increase the supply of bamboo, we aim to create a source of livelihood for our people, especially in communities in the countryside near the areas where bamboo is being planted,” he said. 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has also included bamboo in their National Greening Program to ensure a continuous planting of bamboo in bamboo-friendly areas and as reforestation option for mining companies. 

“This bamboo can then support the requirements of our MSMEs, particularly the producers of bamboo-based finished goods,” Lopez added citing reengineered bamboo wood.

He said the country’s furniture-makers can take advantage of these bamboo-based materials and reengineered bamboo for their products, which will give them a higher value and earn them more profit, especially now that there is a strong demand for bamboo-based products.