The Pampanga provincial government together with concerned government and non-government organizations today effected the reconstitution of the Pampanga Bamboo Development Council (PBDC) even as it classified as urgent the immediate planting of bamboo plants in the province.
This was learned from Vice-Governor 10seller Guiao, the vice-chair of the reconstituted council, who spearheaded the meeting of agencies and organizations concerned with bamboo development at the provincial capitol’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall.
Chaired by Governor Lilia Pineda, the PBDC includes the Vice-Governor as vice-chair with the Provincial Administrator, Provincial Board Committee Chairs on Agriculture and Environment, Departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Trade and Industry (DTI), representative of the Pampanga Mayors League (PML), Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC), Advocates for the Development of Central Luzon (ADCL), Bamboo Network of the Philippines, Chamber of Furniture Industries -Pampanga Chapter (CFIP) and the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce (PAMCHAM) as members.
Guiao said that the Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC) which heads the technical working group on bamboo planting has committed to oversee the immediate planting of some 6,000 bamboo propagules this rainy season. Planting of the bamboo propagules should be done starting this month until September.
He said that Governor Pineda earlier instructed him to ensure the success of the bamboo development project which shall not only promote livelihood opportunities but shall also serve as a mitigation measure for climate change, disaster and poverty.
“We envision the province to become the model in the propagation and development of the bamboo industry in the country,” Guiao said.
To achieve this, the Vice-Governor enjoined the support of all concerned council members and exhorted them to work in harmony with other members and stakeholders to avoid unnecessary delay in the implementation of the project.
He related that about two years ago, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan had been convinced of the potentials of the bamboo program in the development of the province and in so doing, approved the appropriation of P5 million as budget for its implementation.
According to the accounting and budget officials of the province, there are some P3.5 million for the purchase of bamboo propagules, plus P3.5 million unexpended balance and P2.5 million from the 20 percent development fund can be utilized for the said program, totaling P9.5M.
“In fact, we already have the support and commitment of Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who joined us in the launching of the bamboo village in Sta. Catalina in Lubao town,” Guiao disclosed.
The 24-hectare-bamboo village has been planted with 580 bamboo seedlings during its launching activity last July 12 while 400 bamboo cuttings are housed in its nursery.
At present, continuous bagging of bamboo cuttings is being undertaken in the said village while some 40 individuals recently completed the trainings on primary bamboo processing and nursery management conducted by the Cottage Industry and Technology Center ofthe DTI.
Guiao is optimistic that if “people see that we have a viable program, all needed resources and requirements will come and be made available to us.”
“We have to reconstruct, modify if needed, the previous bamboo development plan,” Guiao said as he stressed that the Governor will be very supportive to the PBDC’s plan.
DTI Regional Director Blesila Lantayona briefed the meeting’s participants on the salient points of the Executive Order 879 creating the Philippine Bamboo Development Council (PBDC) and on current trends, updates and economic viability of the said industry.
Lantayona said that Pampanga was the first among Central Luzon’s seven provinces to form and organize a bamboo development counciL
The participants also recognized that the expressed commitment and support of the provincial administration are vital in the success of the bamboo development industry.
Others present in the said meeting were provincial board members Ric Yabut, Teresito Lingad, Nestor Tolentino, Joel Simpauco, Monz Laus, Trina Dizon, Chief of Staff Rosve Henson, Environment and Natural Resources Officer Art Punzalan, ADCL officials Renato Tayag, Sonny Doble and Minerva Arceo; P AMCHAM officials Rene Romero, Myrna Bituin and Joyce Duldulao; and DTI Provincial Director Leny Baluyut and staff and PAC President Honorio Soriano and Dr. Carmelito Tarun.