DOST Council welcomes new gov’t policy on bamboo resources

Published October 4, 2021, 3:13 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) welcomed on Monday, Oct. 4, the government’s new policy on the establishment, harvesting, and transport of bamboo.

(PIXABY)

The DOST-PCAARRD lauded the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) issuance of Department Administrative Order No. 2021-26 (DAO 2021-26), which lays down the rules and regulations governing the establishment, harvesting, and transport of bamboo.

“As a Council with bamboo as one of its main focus commodities, welcomes the issuance of DAO 2021-26,” it said in a statement.

“The issuance of a policy on bamboo will encourage more Filipino farmers to grow bamboo in their lands, help local and national development, and contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

The Council cited that administrative order which was issued in August this year amended various policies on the establishment, harvest, and transport of bamboo products in a bid to encourage the development of bamboo plantations and promote the sustainable use of bamboo as wood substitute.

“DAO 2021-26 removes the Certificate of Verification (CoV) as a requirement for harvesting and transporting bamboo. CoV is considered a factor that discourages investment in the bamboo industry due to tedious and lengthy application process, short validity of CoV, and high cost because of the need to apply for CoV multiple times, as cited in the PCAARRD-funded study on bamboo,” it said.

DAO 2021-26 also calls for the implementation of a one-time registration fee for a Certificate of Bamboo Plantation Registration, which has no expiration until the bamboo stand is declared unproductive.

Under the administrative order, registration of tenured forest land holders and backyard farms is also exempted, if these are for personal consumption and transported within the municipality.

Backyard farms may also be registered for commercial production as individuals, provided that they have steady and sustainable supply, or they may opt to form a cooperative/association, instead, it said.

“DENR will also help bamboo entrepreneurs in accessing tech transfer arrangements provided by DOST and concerned units. DAO also provides incentives to bamboo plantation owners for plantation development and bamboo processing enterprises, and outlines guidance on capacity-building, research and development, technology transfer, financial subsidy, and other support activities,” the DOST-PCAARRD said.

In 2017, the DOST-PCAARRD rally behind a policy analysis project to look into regulations on the harvesting and transporting bamboo, specifically the Certificate of Verification (CoV) requirement which has supposedly discouraged bamboo investors and hampered bamboo industry development.

The project sought to create an enabling environment for a vibrant Philippine Bamboo Industry by addressing policy constraints and information needs. It was implemented by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) under the leadership of Dr. Ramon Razal.

“Several recommendations of Dr. Razal’s team were adopted in the new DAO. This includes registration of bamboo plantations that now serves as the only requirement for the cutting and transport of harvested bamboo poles, as opposed to the previous policy where a CoV was required,” the Council noted.

The 2017 study found that CoV was a disincentive to bamboo growers because acquiring it is expensive and time consuming, and, once acquired, the CoV is only valid for three days, it said.

“The study assessed the policies surrounding bamboo resources and came up with a proposed draft administrative order based on the result of regional workshops, RTDs, National Policy Consultation Workshop on Bamboo, and conduct of cost-benefit analysis,” the PCAARRD said.

It noted that the document was presented and submitted to the DENR through the Forest Management Bureau in 2019.

Due to its durability and versatility, bamboo can be used to make various products such as furniture, handicrafts, construction material, and chemical products. It has high carbon capturing capacity compared to other plants.

 
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