Feature: Iloilo, bamboo capital of RP


Feature: Iloilo, bamboo capital of RP

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (15 November) -- The Iloilo Kawayan (Bamboo) Week which is being held annually in the month of November is now gaining foothold both in the domestic and foreign market in showcasing the Ilonggo ingenuity of developing quality products from bamboo materials.

For four years now, the Iloilo Kawayan Market currently being conducted at the Robinsons Place in Iloilo City, showcases bamboo furniture, furnishings and construction/architectural materials, and the versatility of "hablon", and indigenous fabric made particularly in the first Congressional District of Iloilo province.

"This is an annual event that was launched in 2004 by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-Iloilo Office) in collaboration with the Local Governmnet Units of the City and Province of Iloilo, the national government and the private sector," said Diosdado Cadena, Jr. of the DTI-Iloilo office, who is also chairman of the Kawayan Market Week Executive Committee.

Cadena said that they have also invited representatives from the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) which is based in China, to join during the bamboo symposium in order to provide a global awareness on the development of the bamboo industry.

The INBAR, Cadena said is an international organization established by treaty in November 1997 aimed to improve the social, economic, and environmental benefits of bamboo and rattan.

Meanwhile, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza made known the Philippines ' efforts to continue with its role as one of the world's best sources of bamboo and rattan during a forum among 34 countries that make up the INBAR held in Beijing, China recently.

The DENR press report disclosed that Secretary Atienza, citing studies by INBAR itself, said that the Philippines is now the world's 4th exporter of bamboo and rattan products because of the many species grown here and innovative local designs.

He added that bamboo and rattan "must also be used, whenever applicable, in the ongoing rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems and idle production areas."

The1997 Master Plan for the development of bamboo as a renewable and sustainable resource reported that there were 39,000 to 52,000 hectares (has.) of bamboo stand distributed as follows: 20,500-34,000 has. in the forest lands; 2,236 has. in government plantation; 3,037 has. of privately-owned plantations; and 13, 455 has. of "natural stands".

A study made by DENR's Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) shows there are 62 species of bamboos in the Philippines, up from only 47 in 1991. A German-supported 1988 study also estimated total bamboo resources to be about 10.73 million linear meters, most of which are represented by climbing bamboos totaling 8,318 lineal meters, the DENR press report disclosed. (PIA)

Cabatuan.com - Kasimanwa.com - Diosdado Cadena Jr.