Left photo: Through ERDB’s technical assistance in Sto. Tomas City, participants learn about the commercially important species of bamboo and how to propagate them. Right photo: For. Kevin Philip Olaya (in red) of ERDB demonstrates how to properly identify a bamboo that can be used for propagation.

The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), through the Laboratory and Experimental Services Division (LESD), conducted a technology briefing on Bamboo Propagation and Nursery Establishment with NGO representatives at Sto. Tomas Eco Park in Sto. Tomas City, Batangas on August 5, 2021.

The activity was initiated by the office of the City Councilor Adrian C. Carpio, with the support of City Mayor Edna P. Sanchez, to bring back the industry of bamboo into the city and provide a source of income to its residents. “Noong bumisita kami sa ERDB, nakita po namin ang mga benepisyo ng bamboo. At gusto po namin dalhin muli sa ating bayan ang industriyang ito upang mapakinabangan at maging kabuhayan”, Councilor Carpio said during his opening message. He went on with sharing various byproducts of bamboo to encourage the participants to take interest in propagating it for livelihood.

Ms. Florentina Oliva, Science Research Specialist II of ERDB emphasized the economic importance of growing bamboo. She said that bamboo has a wide range of uses such as fuel, lumber, pulp, charcoal, handicrafts, flooring, utensils, medicine, and food. She also mentioned that the bamboo helps in absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere making it an important tool in mitigating global warming.

For. Kevin Philip Olaya and John Rafols of ERDB also facilitated an interactive demonstration on propagating bamboo. Through the demonstration, the participants were familiarized with the proper selection of bamboo, various propagation techniques, planting procedures, and other information essential in establishing a bamboo nursery.

There were 51 participants from various local NGOs such as SAVE Volunteer, Rural Improvement Club, 4H Club, Alakdan Guardian Ram Inc., among others. Hon. Vice Mayor Armenius O. Silva, Hon. Councilor Gerardo M. Malijan, Hon. Councilor Helengrace P. Navarro, and other staff from the local government unit of the City of Sto. Tomas also attended the activity.

ERDB, as the principal research and development (R & D) arm of DENR, has been doing research on bamboo since 1987. It has developed various technologies on bamboo including propagation methods, plantation establishment, and harvesting techniques.

For the safety of all participants, safety precautions and health protocols against COVID-19 were strictly implemented throughout the event. Jonah Nuisa Garcia, TTD