Feb 7, 2014

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Capitol eyeing for Bamboo re-evaluation

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Board Members Anthony Torres and Nestor Tolentino met with some members of concerned parties yesterday to discuss the re-evaluation of the Bamboo Development Program (BDP).

Legal bases and prior evaluations made were presented by Suzette Pido of KaGaBay (a non-government, non-profit, social development organization) before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan board members and representatives from Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PamCham), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Philippine Export Trustees, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) and the Technical Working Group (TWG).

According to Engr. Art Punzalan, PENR Officer, the BDP aims “to develop Pampanga to be the center hub of bamboo production” and to eventually result to a resolution regarding the continuous support of the Provincial Government to the program regardless of change in administration.

Engr. Punzalan said in a separate interview that the implementation of the BDP will bring about positive effects not only to the province’s economy but also to its ecological and environmental aspects.

Aside for the possibility of making a mainstream industry in bamboo furnitures and other crafts, the PENR Officer explained that bamboo is a great carbon dioxide interceptor and a good oxygen producer.

He also mentioned that these plants can also be utilized in our flood mitigation projects along riverbanks as waterbreakers.

In May 2012, the Executive Order No. 879 was passed implementing the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development as a priority program of the government and imposing full support from departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the National and Local Government.

As a take on this, the Provincial Government of Pampanga under the administration of former governor Eddie Panlilio formulated the Provincial Bamboo Development Council (PBDC) and was reconstituted during the first term of Governor Lilia Pineda.

However, BDP was set aside to give way to the fund allocation for disaster assistance programs and other projects.

Since the project has been stagnant for quite a long period of time, the BDP and PBDC were subjected to re-evaluation and re-assessment.

“I agree that the purpose of this program is very ideal. The question now is how sustainable is the bamboo industry and how big is the demand for it, considering Pampanga alone?” pointed out by Board Member Torres.

“If we are to compare our proposal to the existing bamboo industries in the country, our province cannot compete. What we have to do is find out a way to propagate bamboos and make sure that our bamboo supply is sufficient before we move to another level which is production,” added Torres.

This statement was supported by Engr. Punzalan and said “An actual inventory should be done on all areas with planted bamboos. We must know what specie of bamboo is in-demand in the market and where to plant certain bamboo species so that we’ll know where our resources are.”

“I think this is vital for the Bamboo Council to determine so Governor Pineda and Sangguniang Panlalawigan will be given all data if ever the program pushed through,” he stated.

Fourth district board member Nestor Tolentino also shares the same sentiment on the program.

He explained to the bamboo council that these studies and re-evaluations are very necessary in order to convince Governor Pineda and the Provincial Board to allocate the needed funds for the program.

PENRO is eyeing for the first quarter of this year to make all the necessary evaluations and collect the important data which will support BDP to make it sustainable, Engr. Punzalan concluded.
By: BEA JEANNEL A. DELOS REYES