THE PHILIPPINE Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) is collaborating with research agencies and local governments to broaden the commercial use of bamboo for housing, fiber, and fuel.
In a statement on Tuesday, the council said they are partnering with the Philippine Textile Research Institute, Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), and the local governments of Miag-ao in Iloilo and Dapitan City in Zamboanga del Norte.
“This is a very good program to support President (Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s) program for housing so that more socialized houses can be built,” said PBIDC Vice Chairperson Deogracias Victor B. Savellano.
The council cited residential projects using bamboo developed by the Base Bahay Innovation in different sites such as Bagong Silangan, Quezon City and Jaro, Iloilo.
“The houses are disaster-resilient designed to resist typhoons,” it said.
PBIDC said it has also reached out to the Philippine Institute of Architects for assistance in design and to former agriculture secretary Luis P. Lorenzo, Jr., who runs the bamboo manufacturing company Rizome Philippines, for the materials.
The council has also initiated discussions with the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, which is in charge of the government’s socialized housing program.
Meanwhile, the PBIDC has also been in talks with agricultural scientist N. Barathi, developer of India’s Beema bamboo, for the potential use of bamboo for charcoal and biomass production.
It said FPRDI has developed a technology on bamboo’s use for charcoal or fuelwood, which is “cheaper, energy-efficient and is ecology-friendly.”
The PBIDC has also sealed a partnership with designer and textile technologist Anthony Legarda for the use of bamboo fiber in different products.
“What is good with bamboo for fiber is recovery is big at 25% per pole, while recovery in abaca and other fibers is only at 2%,” said Mr. Savellano.
PBIDC is also looking into potential partnerships for expanding bamboo production areas as well as developing the plant for medicinal use and urban landscaping, among others. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera