Manila, Philippines – The Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is advocating for the swift passage of Senate Bill (SB) 605. This bill, titled 'An Act Institutionalizing the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Program,' aims to advance the country's bamboo industry.
According to Philippines News Agency, the bill seeks to harmonize existing laws related to the bamboo sector and expand the PBIDC's capabilities to better support the industry's growth. Madarang emphasized in a recent interview the need for a clear roadmap to enhance government and private sector collaboration in developing bamboo products. He highlighted the potential of bamboo-derived products, like 'bamboo vinegar' and 'bamboo liquid extract,' which can be refined into disinfectants or anti-fungal products.
Madarang also mentioned the significance of a memorandum of understanding (MOA) signed between the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), under the Department of Science and Technology. This MOA is crucial for implementing 'Bamboo Liquor PH: Local Innovation for Quality Use of Organic Pesticide Resource in the Philippines,' a project aimed at developing organic pesticides from bamboo innovations to boost agricultural production.
DA Undersecretary Deogracias Victor Savellano stressed the importance of government-funded agriculture research and development (R and D) focusing on commercially viable areas. He recently met with Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero de Vera to discuss prioritizing R and D efforts by state colleges, universities, and other government-funded institutions on economically beneficial subjects. Savellano criticized the excessive research funding for projects without practical business applications.
Furthermore, Savellano, who authored House Bill 9576 or the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Act passed earlier this year, pointed out that apart from bamboo, other local plants, like tobacco, have potential as organic pesticides. He mentioned that tobacco can be processed into insect repellants, pesticides, or fertilizers and highlighted 'tobacco dust' as an effective insect repellent and Nicotox-D, a natural fertilizer derived from tobacco leaves, as beneficial for soil health.
Savellano concluded by emphasizing the investors' keen interest in technologies that enhance farm production, which is critical for preventing food shortages and controlling inflation in the Philippines.