Ladies and gentlemen, magandang hapon sa inyong lahat!

As the chair of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) welcomes guests, stakeholders, and participants in today’s summit entitled “Bamboo Economics and Initiatives of the Mining Industry.”

First of all, we would like to acknowledge PBIDC’s partners in making this event possible, the Philippine Mining Club, the DENR-Mine and Geosciences Bureau, and Bamboo Professionals Inc. Today’s gathering is a product of our shared objective to offer bamboo as a tool for reimagining mining methods and developing sustainable mining communities in the Philippines.

Moreover, this summit will offer mining firms a vision and opportunity to cooperate with mining communities, government, the private sector, and academia in the development of mining areas and sustainable mining communities.

Through this collaboration, we will further promote a whole-of-society approach that is an integral part of our efforts to build back better in a post-pandemic future. Specifically, with the utilization of our collective ideas, concepts, and recommendations, we can develop a comprehensive and actionable Agro-industrial Plan that will help us achieve and realize the benefits of Bamboo Economics.

Furthermore, I’m pleased to announce that the House Bill 9576 has been approved on the third reading just last 24 August 2021. Once enacted, this bill will contribute to the development of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Program, which will include programs and projects for the scientific propagation, development and management, processing, utilization, business development, and commercialization of Philippine bamboo and bamboo products.

Of course, with the cooperation of all industry stakeholders, including raw material producers, processors, retailers, and the local government units (LGUs), this will also lead to the creation of the Bamboo Industry Research and Development Center (BIRDC) and incentives for bamboo in plantation development.

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently issued DENR AO No. 2021-26, which directs the rules and regulations governing the establishment, harvesting, and transportation of bamboo poles to ensure the sustainable utilization, development, management, protection, and conservation of the country’s forest and other natural resources.

This includes non-timber Forest Products for the benefit of present and future generations as it also covers the eligibility of mineral lands for the establishment of bamboo plantations.

Lastly, as we continue to boost a public-private partnership, the mining industry partnered with the DENR and the DTI, to launch the Bamboo Initiative two years ago or in October 2019. The nationwide campaign follows President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to the mining industry to reforest mined-out regions.

It is an initiative aimed at revegetating mined-out areas with fast-growing bamboo, thus, increasing bamboo production and creating lucrative enterprises for mining communities. In fact, mining companies have already begun to grow bamboo in these mined-out areas, which will enhance the supply of raw materials for future high-value bamboo products.

These rehabilitation projects will address the bamboo supply issue that will be required to meet the increased demand for bamboo-based products ranging from poles to panels, finer boards, timber, handicrafts, food, beverage, modern furniture, clothes, fabric, paper, flooring, and many more.

On behalf of the PBIDC and DTI, we call on everyone to take advantage of this summit as we push to inspire and empower our stakeholders, both in the public and private sector, to actively play their roles in boosting the Philippine bamboo industry and to develop a sustainable mining community constantly.

Again, welcome to today’s Mining Summit, maraming salamat po, at mabuhay tayong lahat! ♦

Date of Release: 10 September 2021