Major General Alfredo V. Rosario Jr. (3rd from left), Commander of 7ID, Philippine Army, PBIDC Executive Director Butch Madarang (3rd from right) together with ERDB Director Henry A. Adornado (middle) and UBRDEC Center Head Gregorio E. Santos (2nd from right) photo opportunity during the courtesy call.

As the country battles against COVID-19, the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) continues its mandate on achieving sustainable environment. ERDB is committed to provide technical assistance to its partners in environmental protection and conservation.

Even amidst the pandemic, the ERDB responded to the request of the C7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (7ID, PA) located at Fort Ramon Magsaysay Military Reservation (FRMMR), Nueva Ecija on bamboo propagation and harvesting.

As a partner agency in the implementation of Bamboo Plantation Development Project (BPDP), ERDB Director Henry A. Adornado instructed the bamboo experts in the Bureau to facilitate virtual training on bamboo propagation.

The BPP aims to rehabilitate the denuded area inside the military reservation and combat the effects of climate change.

The first activity was held on July 9, 2020 where Forester Cer Jay B. Jimenez discussed the potentials of bamboo in environmental protection and conservation via online lecture. He also explained the different bamboo propagation techniques to guide the 16 soldier participants in their bamboo planting stock production and nursery management.

To further assist the 7ID, PA, Director Adornado, together with Forester Gregorio E. Santos Jr., and Forester Jimenez visited their office and the bamboo plantation in   Nueva Ecija on July 28, 2020. Lieutenant Colonel Concepcion G. Reaño, secretariat of the Bamboo Plantation Project Management Team (BPPMT) welcomed the ERDB and discussed the technical assistance that they need from the Bureau.

The team reported the activities that they will hold to assist the soldiers in the implementation of BPDP. They also made sure that health protocols were observed in the conduct of capacity building activities.

Forester Gregorio E. Santos demonstrates the matured culm ready for harvesting and Forester Cer Jay B. Jimenez discusses the different bamboo propagation techniques. Photo by Lady Gayvee Corcuera

Forester Santos and Forester Jimenez facilitated the lectures and hands-on demonstration to the 10 soldier participants on July 29, 2020. Forester Jimenez reiterated the different bamboo propagation techniques such as culm cuttings, branch cuttings, and off-set method. Forester Jimenez conducted hands-on demonstration on proper bamboo propagation.

Bamboo harvesting was also explained to the participants to make sure that the participants will properly implement the BPDP. Forester Santos discussed the one-by-one criteria for harvesting bamboo. Then, he demonstrated the steps on how to harvest the bamboo.

ERDB Director Adornado, Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) Executive Director Butch Madarang, Lieutenant Colonel Reaño, ERDB-UBRDEC Center Head Gregorio E. Santos, and representatives from DENR Tayo ang Kalikasan, Jerry Capulong and Roberto Feliciano visited the 7ID, PA bamboo plantation to assess if the bamboo planted are ready for harvesting.

Twenty (20) culms were observed in each clump with 4-5 matured culms ready for harvesting. Director Adornado witnessed how this plantation started and was impressed on how the bamboo thrive in FRMMR. He commended the soldiers who worked hard in the establishment of the said plantation.

During the closing program, PBIDC Executive Director Madarang encouraged the participants to plant more bamboo. He pledged to help the BPDP in FRMMR by providing machineries/equipment for bamboo processing through the of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Director Adornado, on the other hand, gave assurance that the ERDB will continually support the project by providing technical assistance. He acknowledged the participants’ big role in the successful implementation of the project and encouraged them to be environmental advocates. Ann Valerie V. Gillado, UBRDEC and Cer Jay B. Jimenez, ERDB-CZFERD