PH Bamboo Industry Requires Big Boost From Gov’t—LegardaJune 20, 2017
Stressing the huge potential of the Philippine bamboo industry in socio-economic development and environmental protection, Senator Loren Legarda said the country’s bamboo sector requires technical and fiscal support from the government to make it more competitive in both local and international markets.
“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 the proposed Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Act of 2017.
Senate Bill No. 1478 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, Chair of the Senate Committees on Finance and Climate Change, has long been advocating the use and promotion of bamboo in the Philippines 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,” she stressed.
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.
Furthermore, 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.