• ‘Engineered bamboo’ big export potential

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    The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that “engineered bamboo,” which is being developed by the agency as a replacement for wood in furniture making, will hit it big in the foreign markets in the next few years.

    The DTI also mentioned that these bamboo developments and innovations are used in making high-quality furniture and other products for home decorations.

    Senen Perlada, director of the DTI-Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP), said that the engineered bamboos will provide a boost for the domestic bamboo industry in preparation for the start of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.

    “Engineered bamboo can provide Philippine furniture manufacturers the competitive edge over Asean [Association of Southeast Asian nations] competitors,” she said.

    “[The engineered bamboos are] huge export potentials since bamboo is endemic in the country, bamboo plantations can thrive nationwide, and new technologies are readily available for adoption,” Perlada added.

    Margie Pastrana of the Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines said that these engineered bamboos are also a good replacement for wood since it gives durability and aesthetic of the output.

    “The process of creating engineered bamboo has made the raw material more durable and very attractive, since the manufacturing process saves and enhances the inherent beauty of the cut bamboo,” she said.

    Initially focusing on local campaigns, DTI-Aklan Director Diosdado Cadena Jr. said that the agency manufactured and designed bamboo products made from engineered bamboos “to meet the furniture and furnishing requirements of the Boracay market with its cosmopolitan clientele.”

    He said that the move would help market and expose the bamboo products to tourists visiting the area.

    The DTI project of looking into bamboos as a replacement for wood came as a response to the total log ban, which prohibits the extensive cutting of trees to save the environment.

    It is also conducting fairs to market bamboos to increase the industry’s revenues as well as improving bamboo plantations in the country.

    Though there is high consideration for various kinds of bamboos as a substitute for the wood, a study by the University of the Philippines-Los Baños Prof. Ramon Razal expressed disapproval, because different kinds of bamboo may not replace all the products intended to be made with wood.

    “Not all bamboo varieties meet the requirements for a financially viable engineered-bamboo enterprise,” he added.

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