A team of 4 researchers from the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) composed of Ms. Mildred M. Fidel, Chief, Technical Services Division, Ms. Grecelda A. Eusebio, Chief, Technology Business Development Section (TBDS), Ms. Wency H. Carmelo, Senior Science Research Specialist, Technology Innovation Division and Mr. Carl Anthony O. Lantican, Science Research Analyst, visited Talim Island on June 21, 2016. The team was accompanied by the ERDB project team headed by Ms. Vienna O. Austria.

The purpose of the visit was to conduct a site assessment of the area prior to the extension of technical assistance in the design of a bamboo stick dryer in the community.

As a backgrounder, in 2014 the ERDB implemented the project entitled “Pro-Active Response Towards Nurturing Environmental Relations: A Barangay Outreach program based on Community Needs and Demands (PARTNER-BOND) in Talim Island, Binangonan, Rizal . The project enhanced partnership with two People’s Organizations (Samahang Mangingisda ng Barangay Pinagdilawan and Samahang Mangingisda ng Barangay Ginoong Sanay) through the introduction and adoption of ERDB’s bamboo propagation technology.

As part of the project’s continuous monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities, a documentation study of the development of the bamboo stick industry in the two barangays of the island was conducted. The study revealed that almost all (90-95%) of the households in Brgy. Ginoong Sanay and around 20% in Barangay Pinagdilawan depend on the industry for their livelihood. They said that the industry has assisted them in buying all their daily necessities at home, send children to school, buy medicines and the like. Unfortunately, they incur problems in drying their bamboo sticks during the wet season, thus giving them low or no income at all. Hence, the request of a design of a bamboo stick dryer.

The response from the FPRDI team was a positive one since accordingly; they have an idle dryer in the office for which bamboo stick producers can first try and use for a year. This is while waiting for the design and fabrication of the customized bamboo stick dryer. Meantime, they were requested to locate for an area wherein the dryer can be housed, ie, has a roof, has enough space for the dryer and a working area, not too close to groups of houses, strategic location for everyone’s use and the like. By the way the source of funds for the fabrication of the bamboo stick dryer will still to be sourced out. Ma. Vienna O. Austria, TTD