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PHL Bamboo Council’s ExCom accepts action plan for 2013-2016
Monday, February 4, 2013
In moving the bamboo industry forward, the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council’s (PBIDC) Executive Committee (ExCom) with the assistance of the Bamboo Technical Working Group (TWG) recently accepted the proposed Bamboo Industry Development Project (BIDP) Action Plan for 2013 to 2016.
“We will use these action plans as a model for the other industry clusters,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Regional Operations and Development Group (RODG) Merly M. Cruz said during the two-day workshop to validate and accept the proposed action plans.
“The bamboo industry is the first industry that has been brought to the policy level. We hope that the bamboo industry can provide a business model, which can be used by the other industries. The industries like coco coir, rubber, and banana are still in the process of finalizing their executive orders,” Cruz said.
The country’s bamboo industry is guided by Executive Order (EO) No. 879 in providing the over-all policy and program directions of the program for all its stakeholders. EO 879 is otherwise known as “creating the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) to promote the bamboo industry development project and directing the use of bamboo for at least twenty five (25%) percent of the desk and other furniture requirements of public elementary and secondary schools and prioritizing the use of bamboo in furniture, fixtures and other construction requirements of government facilities and allocating funds therefore and other purposes.”
Cruz heads the PBIDIC ExCom, which assists the PBDIC in identifying programs and projects and generating resources. The ExCom is assisted by a Bamboo TWG which will serve as the Secretariat headed by the Executive Director of the Cottage Industry Technology Center (CITC) and composed of representatives designated by PBIDC members.
The output of the workshop on the validation and acceptance of BIDP action plans for 2013 to 2016 were based on earlier workshops assessing the BIDP accomplishments at the subnational levels in terms of its mandated deliverable and targets, and drafting the action plan.
The latter workshop was attended by representatives of national government agencies such as DTI, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); industry associations like the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI); and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like the Bamboo Phil and Ahon Movement.
“This composite group come up with a document as guide as we achieve our goal and contribute to inclusive growth and poverty reduction,” Cruz said.
During this workshop, a number of issues on the bamboo industry were identified and clarified. These includes: functional subnational structure, regional allocation of contribution to national targets, regional target setting for agency indicators to flow fan allocated contributions, regional action plan on value chain approach and its yearly review, project and council organization and management model, and project action plan.
Other issues like the consolidation of plans, speedy issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of EO 879, and the prototyping of bamboo products were also discussed. Appropriate activities to address those issues were also determined.
The workshop participants were guided by the plan’s three poles or components, which are environmental management, propagation of production (chaired by DENR); business development (led by DTI); and the social (supervised of business support organizations (BSO) such as NGOs and industry associations).
“We hope to see all three poles or components will harmoniously and synchronized with each other. You cannot move the business development component without much supply and that is production. You cannot be felt in all sectors if it is just business. The social component should also be strong. With the tri-polar framework, we are confident that we can deliver our goal,” Cruz said.
“Propagation is the most critical pole. We are happy to know that the government has refocused its trust such that there is the National greening Program (NGP),” Cruz said.
The NGP or EO 26 commits to plant some 1.5 billion trees covering about 1.5 million hectares for a period of six (6) years from 2011 to 2016. All other greening efforts of the private sector and civil society harmonized under the NGP.
“Thirty percent of targeted hectares are to be planted with bamboo. The government target is 53,671 hactares for 2013 to 2016. We are not precluding the initiatives coming from the private sector, especially if our targets could be delivered with a major participation from the private sector. We are trying to synchronize or align the chain,” Cruz said.
“Together with the DTI and other agencies, we have worked on the promotion of bamboo industry development since 2010. I am hopeful that we are here considering this endeavour cannot be done by one agency alone,” PHILEXPORT Board of Trustees for the furniture sector Myrna Bituin said during the workshop.
Biutin noted that she have seen the benefits of the bamboo industry development in countries like China and Vietnam, and went around the country to see the capacity of people in producing bamboo products. She thinks that efforts to promote the industry will benefit the poor or farmers.
The PBDIC ExCom looks forward to three more upcoming workshops to consolidate the social and environmental component of the plan with its business development component.
The workshops were facilitated by Lorenzo F. Templonuevo, PhD, training service provider, and documented by Rita I. Pilarca, expert from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Agency for International Cooperation) or GIZ.