Bamboo sector gets P22B gov’t support

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    The government has set aside P10 billion per year in 2021 and 2022 in financing support for the bamboo industry to fulfill the goals of its roadmap.

    This is on top of the P2-billion projects being planned by the eight government agencies, including the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which are implementing the roadmap

    In his speech at the North Luzon and Central Luzon Virtual Bamboo Summit yesterday, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the Development Bank of the Philippines has allotted P10 billion per year this year and in 2022 for lending to would-be bamboo farmers.

    For 2021, Lopez said the government agencies are readying P594 million worth of projects in the sector. Another P1.4 billon projects are proposed for 2022.

    Lopez said last year, government agencies had implemented a total of P441 million projects related to the various aspects of meeting the roadmap’s objectives of bamboo development.

    So far, 16,867 hectares (has) had been planted with bamboo nationwide in 2020, a little more than the target of 16,687 has.

    Lopez said the target is to plant 23,671 has. this year and 40,000 ha. in 2022.

    Lopez said DTI provided support for bamboo agri-business and bamboo processing to cooperatives, micro, small and medium enterprises, associations, and local government units through our shared services facilities program and other technical assistance. DTI has also provided training to help them develop value-add for their bamboo products.

    Last year, Lopez said, DTI implemented projects worth around P15 million in 11 regions, of which P9 million was allocated to North and Central Luzon.

    “ For 2021, we’ll 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, we are proposing projects worth around P545 million in 13 regions, of which about P14 million shall be allocated in North Luzon and Central Luzon,” Lopez added.

    Lopez said by planting more bamboo trees, “we aim to create a source of livelihood for our people, especially in communities in the countryside.”

    He also commended the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for including bamboo in their National Greening Program and the Department of Agriculture for classifying bamboo as a high-value crop to ensure continuous planting of bamboo.

    “Bamboo can support the requirements of micro, small and medium enterprises, particularly the producers of bamboo-based finished goods. DTI believes the bamboo industry has strong potential for business. There is a wide application of bamboo wood, like reengineered bamboo. These are flat but are stronger than plywood. 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,” Lopez said. – Irma Isip