Recognizing bamboo’s vast potential as a raw material for architecture, construction and interior design, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) R2, through Regional Director Leah Pulido Ocampo as the Bamboo National Industry Cluster Coordinator (NICC), conducted the Bamboo Cluster Year-end Assessment and Planning cum Benchmarking Mission on 11 December 2023 in Bayambang, Pangasinan.

The assessment, which was participated in by Bamboo Focal Persons (FPs) from all the regions of the country, aimed to enhance the capacity and knowledge of regional bamboo focal persons on the potentials of bamboo as a structural, architectural, and interior design material.

The group visited the St. Vincent Ferrer Statue, built with engineered bamboo, and recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest sculpture in the world.  A visit was also made to the bamboo processing facility and the 10,000-hectare bamboo plantation project of CS First Green Agri-Industrial Development Inc., a pioneer in the manufacture of bamboo boards, vinyl, planks and other bamboo structural materials in the country.

“The world is turning to natural and sustainable architecture, and many countries are converting to bamboo as a better alternative to wood. The Philippines has to be able to capture a slice of this huge market, but first we need to address the lack of industrial bamboo plantations, develop the industry and position it as a material for architecture, interior design, and construction,” said RD Ocampo, as she encouraged the DTI bamboo focals to not only promote the bamboo industry but also address all the stages of the value chain, especially its supply problems.

“People need to own whatever they are doing so that there’s more passion and commitment, which will eventually reap better results as a value-chain facilitator,” said host DTI R1 RD Grace Baluyan as she encouraged the Bamboo focals to go beyond their duty as facilitators. She also mentioned that focal persons should initiate resource generation activities and strengthen ties with the Local Government Units to be able to conduct activities for the industry amidst the lack of budget for the industry.

Furthermore, RD Ocampo also discussed the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council 2024 Work Calendar, 2023 Highlights of Accomplishment of the regions, and the 2023 Bottomline Assessment and Target Planning to establish clear plans and directions for the year ahead, outlining specific actions and initiatives to be undertaken by the Regional Offices and stakeholders, especially in repositioning bamboo as a sustainable material for architecture and interior design.

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Date of release: 19 December 2024