Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Deogracias Victor Savellano underscored the importance of bamboo in the agriculture sector, and its contribution to the national economy during the celebration of the World Bamboo Day and Philippine Bamboo Month.

“Ang kawayan ay kailangan natin sa araw araw na kabuhayan natin, lalo na ang mga magsasaka at mangingisda. Kapag pinag-usapan ang kawayan, ang number one problem natin ay ‘yung raw materials. Iyan ang challenge sa atin, magtanim tayo ng kawayan. Even our president, noong pinag-usapan ang kawayan, excited siya. We are now preparing to present the bamboo economics kasi gusto natin during the time of President Bongbong Marcos ang industriya ng kawayan ay lumago na,” he said.

Under the Executive Order (EO) No. 879, the DA is mandated to identify idle and marginalized agricultural areas suitable for bamboo plantations. The agency will also assist in establishing bamboo nurseries, and its propagation with focus on bamboo shoot production.

In her message, Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture, highlighted the economic and long-term sustainable benefits of propagating bamboo.

“According to the Sustainable Development Goals, bamboo has the potential of supporting sustainability in economic growth as it grows very fast and can be grown easily in different climate conditions and altitudes and thus, reduces the pressure on trees producing timber for products for wood,” she explained.

The event was highlighted by a bamboo planting activity at the Bambusetum in Marikina on September 18, 2023, led by the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC).

The PBIDC was created to help strengthen the bamboo industry in the Philippines. Its members include several national government agencies, with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as the chair. It is composed of DA, together with the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Education, Science and Technology, Labor and Employment, along with the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, two representatives from non-government organizations, and one representative each from two private industry associations. ###