CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7) is intensifying its program towards developing the bamboo production and processing in the region, banking on the rich supply of bamboo in Central Visayas.
DTI-7 regional director Asteria Caberte said that through the bamboo production and processing program, the agency is emphasizing its assistance to the countryside residents and makes use of bamboo as one of the main livelihood sources.
“Bamboo is a versatile material used for construction, furniture, water pipes, buckets, weaving, boat masks and paper production, among others. It has received growing attention over the last few years for the services that it provides in local ecosystems and the global environment,” said Caberte.
She said some of the comparative advantages that bamboo especially has in providing important ecological services are well known, such as rehabilitation of degraded land and slowing soil erosion.
A few years ago, the Cottage Industry and Technology Center, an agency attached to the DTI, developed a technology that will utilize bamboo as an alternative lumber.
This technology is called engineered bamboo or e-bamboo. Caberte said e-bamboos are bamboo materials that are treated, pressed and laminated to form bamboo planks. It is then used by converting it to different products like engineered bamboo furniture, floor and wall panels and other products.
Meanwhile, Caberte mentioned that last year, DTI launched the National Industry Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP). It is an industry cluster approach which supports the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the countryside.
With the technical assistance and funding support from the government of Japan, the project aims to enhance the capacity of DTI and key leaders in the selected industry clusters throughout the country to plan, implement, facilitate service delivery, evaluate projects and improve industry competitiveness.
According to Caberte, the NICCEP project entails cooperation, sharing information and working together. It means thinking together on how to tackle immense problems of local MSMEs, particularly on energy efficiency and better resource management, in ways that will benefit the public in general.
“Our opportunities lie in many new areas, ranging from development of new energy efficient materials, to green manufacturing operations including eco-tourism and waste management. It will also stimulate investment in more modern and efficient technologies, buildings and vehicles while reducing the consumption of precious commodities like water, electricity and oil,” she said.
Caberte reiterated the importance of economic development potential of the green economy, which is considered as a key means to create decent work and growth in the economy in a sustainable manner.