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Humble grass gets a boost: Camille Villar bats for institutionalizing bamboo industry

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Las Pinas Rep. Camille Villar has filed a measure institutionalizing the development of the bamboo industry to maximize its full potential for livelihood.

House Bill (HB) No. 3309 requires that bamboo represents at least 20% of the annual planting materials needed in the national greening program or in reforestation of open, denuded, and degraded forest lands and in the manufacture of at least 25% of desks and chairs, as an alternative to wood, in public primary and secondary schools in the country.

The bill also proposes the creation of the Bamboo Industry Research and Development Center (BIRDC), which will be tasked to continuously provide relevant
technologies and new products to the bamboo industry.

BIRDC or Center will also serve as the secretariat of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) or Council to be created under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The BIRDC or Center 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 bamboo industry roadmap.

Villar said the Philippines’ edge in design and craftsmanship and the local bamboo sector can be developed further by strengthening government’s efforts in encouraging plantation, research on its development and utilization.

“The honing of the Filipino capacities and skills and providing them with global perspective will definitely help our bamboo industry become a major revenue and employment generator,” she said.