NASUGBU, BATANGAS — In its effort to position bamboo as a structural and architectural material in the region, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 2 initiated a 3-day Bamboo Benchmarking Mission at the BASE Bahay Innovation Center, Makati City and at the Kanya Kawayan Bamboo Treatment Facility and Rejoice Housing Center, Nasugbu, Batangas on 20-22 March 2024.

The BASE Bahay Foundation Inc. headed by General Manager, Dr. Pablo Jorillo, and the Director of the BASE Innovation Center, Engr. Luis Lopez welcomed the regional and provincial bamboo focal persons and bamboo stakeholders from the region.

During the said benchmarking mission, the team visited the BASE Innovation Center in Makati City, which serves as the headquarters of the BASE Bahay Foundation, an organization dedicated to addressing the critical need for socialized housing in the Philippines.

The BASE Bahay’s signature innovation and the Community-Based Bamboo Frame Technology (CBFT), represent a paradigm shift in traditional housing. It’s not merely a reimagining of the “bahay kubo,” but a re-engineered structure that adheres to the highest standards and building code requirements. Through this technology, they were able to build permanent structures, re-engineered altogether, that can sustain and withstand typhoon category 5,240 km/hr, and an earthquake of 7–7.5 magnitude, utilizing bamboo.

Moreover, to further enhance the appreciation and knowledge of the participants on the CBFT, BASE toured the participants at the Kanya Kawayan Bamboo Treatment Facility, a partner treatment facility in Nasugbu, Batangas. Through this visit, the participants learned about the 9-step Bamboo Treatment Process, as well as the necessary structures and facilities required to establish such a facility, which can be replicated in region 2.

Lastly, the group visited the Children’s Rejoice Village, a community in Nasugbu, Batangas, that offers former slum dwellers a fresh start by providing them with a sustainable community comprising children’s homes, affordable housing made from bamboo, agricultural infrastructure, and livelihood activities, established by the BASE Foundation and humanitarian organization 4P for People. The village utilized local labor and resources, with the bamboo sourced and treated at the Kanya Kawayan facility.

During the visit, participants also met with Norwegian founder Ingar Åkerlund, who headed the idea for the community. Thus, the housing project using CBFT served as a proof of concept, demonstrating the possibilities of using bamboo for various structures.

With the compelling vision and impactful projects of BASE, the team was inspired to forge partnerships with the organization.

As a result, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) will be signed between the LGU Quezon, Isabela, and BASE Bahay, to establish a Bamboo Treatment Facility in the region, with funding provided by the LGU. Immediate actions such as drafting and finalizing the MOA will commence promptly after the visit.

In addition, various meetings were also scheduled with the different bamboo stakeholders in the region, and a Bamboo Forum will be held in the provinces of Quirino and Cagayan.

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Date of release: 03 April 2024