CITING its many economic and ecological benefits, Sen. Cynthia A. Villar yesterday exhorted the public and all concerned government agencies to continue propagating bamboo.
“The Sustainable Development Goals noted that 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 said.
“After harvesting bamboo regrows from its own root system, it doesn’t need to be planted again,” also said Villar, noting that bamboo forests play a leading role in global carbon cycles and carbon sinks.
The senator, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, was the keynote speaker during the Bamboo Month and World Bamboo Day Celebration spearheaded by the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC).
She said the theme- “Buong Bansa Magtanim: Kawayan para sa Kalikasan, Kabuhayan, Kaunlaran at Kinabukasan!” of the celebration which also included the ceremonial bamboo planting at the CITE Bambusetum, has captured our mutual goal of planting more bamboos for the betterment of our environment. It also gives livelihood in the countryside by turning bamboo into useful products.
In May 2023, Villar said the PBIDC reported that it is collaborating with the Philippine Textile Research Institute for bamboo for fiber and local governments of Miag-ao in Iloilo and Dapitan City in Zamboanga Del Norte.
For housing, it coordinates with the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, which is in charge of the government’s socialized housing program.
“And it is also looking at the potential use of bamboo for charcoal and biomass production, which is cheaper, energy-efficient, and is ecology-friendly, in partnership with the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI).”
Villar said her home city Las Piñas is known for the 19th-century old and world-renowned bamboo organ found in our Saint Joseph Church along Diego Cera Street.
“We are also known as Metro Manila’s Parol Capital where bamboo is the main raw material for their lantern making,” she said.
In July 2005, the Villar Foundation established our Bambusetum which boasts 30 varieties. A Bambusetum with 28 varieties was also built at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetland Park, a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance.
She further related Las Pinas has a Bamboo Processing Factory which makes very useful and aesthetically pleasing bamboo steps that their company buys.