In support of the Enhanced National Greening Program (e-NGP) and to promote Panay Island as the country’s bamboo capital, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6conducted a three-day Capability Training on Bamboo Propagation, Plantation Development, Rehabilitation, Enterprise and Value Chain at Damires Hills Tierra Verde Janiuay, Iloilo on October 28-31, 2019.
Forest Extension Officers (FEO) of various Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) in Western Visayas attended the training to learn the importance and use of bamboo, its propagation and economic benefits.
The DENR Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) Urban and Biodiversity Research, Development and Extension Center (UBRDEC) Center Head Gregorio E, Santos, Jr. shared his expertise on bamboo and discussed its uses to mitigate the effects of climate change, production and potential to boost economic growth.
Bamboo can absorb 12 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per hectare each year helping lower temperature. It also acts as rain interceptor due to its extensive root system that maintains soil stability thus preventing soil erosion and occurrences of flash flood.
“Bamboos don’t easily break, they just bend,” said Santos adding that they are a good substitute for wood to reduce the pressure on natural forests to supply domestic wood requirements.
As part of the training, the FEO’s and E-NGP coordinators demonstrated bamboo propagation at the Maasin Watershed Forest Reserve at Brgy. Daja, Maasin, Iloilo.
Santos added that proper selection of stocks such as (culm, branch cuttings, rhizomes and seeds) and materials such as (bolos and pruning shear) and using the appropriate potting media composed of (garden soil, compost and rice hulls) are important to have good quality planting stocks that will produce healthy bamboo.
Santos said a bamboo nursery should be located near the planting area to avoid stress on the cuttings. The cuttings should also have sufficient water supply. Bamboo can be propagated through culm cuttings, branch cuttings, rhizomes and seeds.
In Western Visayas, culm and branch propagation are the best way to plant bamboo.
To propagate bamboos, choose 1-2 years old culm and branch with healthy budeye to cut and plant in the potting media with mycorrhiza. Water twice a day, in the morning and afternoon. It should be placed in a nursery with sunlight from the east to west direction, and should be cared for properly.
According to DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla Jr., “Bamboo has great potentials to boost our economic gains through its multiple uses as construction materials, furniture, handicrafts, textiles, bamboo charcoal, medicine, beauty products, pulp and paper, gadget cases, transportation and ecotourism destinations.”
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatuaims to have a 98% survival rate of planted bamboos here in Western Visayas. He has ordered the use of bamboo in households to avoid using plastic materials.
Through Executive Order No. 193 or the e-NGP, the Bamboo Program improves the quality of the environment and addresses solid waste problems. It also rehabilitates the unproductive, denuded and degraded forestlands which is among the 10 priority programs of Cimatu.