Bamboo growers, manufacturers, artisans and traders in Laguna can expect better days up ahead as the DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) is working on a project that aims to strengthen the province’s bamboo industry.

With a budget of PhP 2.1 Million, the project has so far mapped out the industry and analyzed the constraints facing different bamboo stakeholders — from farmers and suppliers, to the market and end-users. It has also studied the current status and prospects of each bamboo enterprise, and consequently identified firm-level and industry-wide interventions based on their needs.

“Currently, there are 95 bamboo-based businesses in the province. This number alone suggests how much potential the province has in terms of developing its bamboo industry thru the support
of the local government unit (LGU) and other private and government organizations,” explained DOST-FPRDI Director Romulo T. Aggangan.

Recently, DOST-FPRDI initiated a forum attended by 28 bamboo enterprises and 70 LGU representatives from Laguna.

Institute Deputy Director Rico J. Cabangon presented the different bamboo technologies and technical assistance the DOST-FPRDI could offer to the bamboo-based industry, while Community Environment & Natural Resources Officer For. Venerando Garcia presented relevant rules and policies affecting the bamboo industry.

Department of Trade and Industry Laguna’s Emmanuel Lee Lapitan discussed various bamboo products that are in-demand locally and in abroad, and the services that can be availed from DTI.

Meanwhile, Dr. Florentino O. Tesoro, former DOST-FPRDI Director and current Chair of the Bamboo Professionals, Inc., presented a proposal for the establishment of a Laguna Bamboo Industry Development Council, which will be reviewed by the Provincial Government.

Aside from DOST-FPRDI officials headed by Dr. Aggangan, Dr. Cabangon, Technical Services Division Chief Dr. Maria Cielito G. Siladan and Technology Innovation Division Chief Dr. Loreto A. Novicio, also present during the forum were Laguna Provincial Governor Ramil L. Hernandez, DOST-Laguna’s Provincial Director Samuel L. Caperiña, and DOST-PCAARRD’s Rebeka A. Paller and Geoffrey Gacayan, among others.

The project is being led by Drs. Ma. Cecile B. Zamora and Carl Anthony O. Lantican and is funded by the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development. ### (Apple Jean C. Martin- de Leon)