• Bamboo industry targets 80K hectares by 2040

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    A draft roadmap for the bamboo sector which envisions expanding total plantation area to 80,000 hectares is nearing completion, the Board of Investments (BOI) said.

    The BOI, the investments promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), said the BOI, DTI, bamboo industry stakeholders, academe, and concerned government agencies recently conducted a consultation workshop to discussing the final details to be addressed in the industry roadmap.

    The Industry Roadmapping Program of the BOI and DTI facilitates the development of industry or sector roadmaps to serve as overall guides to the development of the sectors, including identifying issues to be addressed and establishing production and other performance targets.

    Under the roadmapping program, a technical working group is usually formed with the help of the BOI to implement plans, programs, and projects under the roadmap.

    The Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Plan 2010 to 2020, which is currently being drafted, has set targets of 16,000 hectares of bamboo plantations by 2020, to increase to 42,000 hectares by 2030 and 80,000 hectares by 2040. The majority of the projected bamboo plantation area will be dedicated for culm, or mature stalk production while only 75 hectares of the total will be for shoot production.

    The industry’s short-term goals include strengthening the bamboo sector’s main agent, the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC), through a Republic Act or Executive Order, and establishing an overall data management system and inventory database of bamboo resources and enterprises by the end of 2017.

    Through Executive Order (EO) No. 879 signed in May 2010 by then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the PBIDC promotes local bamboo industry development projects in the country. It is tasked to identify, prioritize, and recommend initial strategic interventions, research directions and critical data while the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Plan 2010 to 2020 is being drawn up.

    The draft roadmap also suggests enactment of two bills into law, which includes Senate Bill 3206 or an Act Institutionalizing a Philippine Bamboo Development Program authored by Senator Bam Aquino, and an Act to Promote the Development of the Bamboo Industry in the Philippines, which amends certain provisions of EO 879 creating the PBIDC, expanding its mandates, and providing for additional personnel and regular budget of the Council Secretariat.

    The recent meeting tackled some concerns of the bamboo sector such as the state of the industry, issues, priority areas and high potential growth sectors, support to industry development, SWOT analysis, profitability analysis, strategies and timelines, as well as opportunities for cooperation among stakeholders and implementation plan.

    “The workshop is deemed important since it gives us not only a better understanding of the bamboo industry, but also an opportunity for stakeholders to cooperate in further developing the industry,” said Nestor P. Arcansalin, director of BOI for Resource-Based Industries Service.

    The inputs and feedback from the workshop will be incorporated in the enhanced version of the draft roadmap. Upon acceptance of the roadmap by stakeholders, the BOI will start facilitating the formation of the technical working group.

    The bamboo industry mostly contributes to the country’s gross domestic product through value-added products integrated with wood, cane and rattan articles.

    Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the BOI said manufacturing of the said article group amounted to P13.3 million in 2014 or a 0.19-percent share of the total manufacturing value-added of P1.664 billion.

    On exports side, bamboo products are counted in the total furniture, furnishings, and housewares category, the exports of which have steadily increased in the last five years, growing to $10.791 million in 2014 from $2.053 million in 2010, according to data from the DTI Export Marketing Bureau.

    At present, there are 95 bamboo enterprises in the Philippines, employing 190,000 workers.

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