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Engineered bamboo, a promising agri-based industry in Southern Leyte

By ES GORNE, PIA Maasin
January 29, 2011

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  Should the total log ban be effected as it is being now  considered among President Benigno S. Aquino III’s long-term interventions to all the flooding that damaged lives, properties and vital infrastructures in the country, then engineered bamboo lumber could be one of  the substitutes as hard wood.

DTI Southern Leyte Provincial Director Michael Nuñez revealed during the DySL Kapihan sa PIA last Thursday that thru engineering technology bamboo product lines are expanded from furniture industry to bamboo lumber which gathered a positive response from the construction sector.

Provincial Director Nuñez further said that other bamboo product lines which are newly introduced in the local market includes plyboo (comparable to plywood), bamboo lumber, bamboo chips, among others.

Consumers need not be wary of engineered bamboo finished products from infiltration of insects and eating up the insides of the indigenous material since these are being treated with medicines, Nuñez added.

The said government agency is eyeing the potentials of engineered bamboo industry since it is easily grown at the backyards even.  It will take only three to five years that the plant could be harvested.  That the bamboo plant could also help environmental issues as such it has 30% more absorption capacities than other plants, he added.

Presently, the national government agency has been assisting various groups who are engaged in the bamboo industry whether it be modern method or the traditional way. Recently, the Southern Leyte Multipurpose Cooperative (SLEM Coop) who is engaged in the bamboo industry is a recipient of a P300,000 financial assistance from the national government.

Meanwhile, the province of Southern Leyte is losing about P300 Million from the abaca industry every year since it stop production due the infestation of the virus bunchy top.  Before the infestation, the abaca industry production was pegged at least 11,000 metric tons every year, Provincial Director Nuñez disclosed.

He was also apprehensive that the coconut industry in the province of Southern Leyte is also endangered with the invasion of bronstispa pests, who are indiscriminately sucking the young coconut leaves. That the agriculture-based industry, which is presently yielding some P1-2 billion production every year, should be given utmost attention if not, the coconut industry will face the same challenge as of the abaca industry, God forbid.

He also urged the stakeholders to keep abreast and to help monitor bronstispa attack in their own backyards.