Lubao LGU lauded for bamboo development initiative

LUBAO, Pampanga–Various government and private organizations have commended the efforts of the local government unit here, led by Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab, for its initiative to promote the different use of bamboo.

Since the start of the year, different government officials and stakeholders in the tourism and agricultural sectors began visiting this town’s Bamboo Hub and Eco Village, where bamboo has become a major attraction in a six-hectare property in Barangay Sta. Catalina, this town.

On Thursday, officials of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) toured the bamboo hub to benchmark on the practices adopted by the LGU to make use of bamboo for recreation and in the manufacturing industry.

Local furniture maker, Myrna Bituin of the renowned Betis Crafts in Guagua town, said that the Lubao Bamboo Hub could set an example to other local government units in the country to finally recognize the tall grass as the best substitute to lumber.

Though the production of bamboo furniture is more expensive than conventional lumber, stakeholders think that when propagation of bamboo in the country is in full swing and more technology to process the fibrous plant developed, production cost will be much cheaper.

The bamboo hub here has already began producing school desks that Governor Lilia “Nanay” Pineda of Pampanga has bought and distributed to public schools.

At present, one school desk made of bamboo would cost more than P1,000 each, which is pricier than those made of regular lumber that are pegged from P700 to P800 each.

However, desks made of bamboo are sturdier and could last up to five years. Lumber desks can only manage a maximum of two years of abuse inside classrooms.

Mayor Pineda-Cayabyab said that 325 fully-grown clumps of bamboo are planted inside the six-hectare ecological park and thousands more within the village of about 30 hectares of land that the municipal government will develop.

The bamboo trees have been planted six years ago at the eastern embankment of what used to be a river in Barangay Sta. Catalina. The place now provides a people’s park visited by hundreds of individuals everyday.

Delegates from the Department of Agriculture led by Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña; Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environment Management Bureau in Quezon City; Department of Trade and Industry Region 3; and officials from Marinduque led by Rep. Lord Alan Velasco toured the bamboo hub for possible bench-marking in their respective areas. –Albert B. Lacanlale