There is a big demand for bamboos as Masinloc strives to supply need
MASINLOC, Zambales — To answer an executive order requiring the use of bamboo in furniture needs of public schools and other construction requirements of government institutions, a farmers and fishermen cooperative of this town is striving to meet the demands in bamboo development.
Executive Order (EO) No. 879 created the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBDIC) “to promote the bamboo industry and direct[ed] the use of bamboo for at least 25% of the desk and other furniture requirements of public elementary and secondary schools and prioritiz[e] the use of bamboo in furniture, fixtures and other construction requirements of government facilities….”
The Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Magsasaka at Mangingisda ng Masinloc Multipurpose Cooperative, Inc. (Unified Association of Farmers and Fishermen of Masinloc Cooperative, Inc.) through its manager, Delfin Alansalon, reported that they are readying bamboo slats to be supplied to a bamboo processing plant in Marikina.
He said that so far, around four suppliers have signified interest to supply more bamboo slats.
The municipality of Masinloc was identified as a bamboo node because of the abundance in raw materials and as a strategic location, with the towns of Palauig and Candelaria having similar volume of bamboo.
An area is called a node if it has facilities and equipment to process bamboo slats. A hub, on the other hand, is capable of processing bamboo into desks or other furniture.
The cooperative is the sole beneficiary of some P300,000 investment from the Provincial Bamboo Development Council. It was given to them in the form of seminars and equipment outlay.
However, Alansalon also reported that the buying price of processed bamboo slats, which is pegged at three pesos per piece, is not feasible due to the high cost of bamboo poles which cost around P150.
Only those from the middle part of a bamboo pole are being processed into slats because of the thickness requirements needed by processed bamboo furniture makers, Alansalon revealed.
He said that processed slats should be priced at six pesos per piece. He also suggested that one way to make bamboo materials cost-effective is to put up a hub nearby.(Allen M. Villa/PIA Zambales)