(Top left): DENR Assistant Secretary for Finance, Information Systems, and Mining Concerns, Nonita S. Caguioa, giving her motivational speech and appreciation to ERDB. (Top right): The participants during the photo ops before the training. (Bottom left): Actual demonstration of the different propagation techniques and how to plant bamboo cuttings. (Bottom right): Participants with their planted bamboo cuttings. Photos by Faith Manarin, FERD

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu required all mining companies to establish an additional bamboo plantation equivalent to 10 percent of their declared final mining area to increase the bamboo plantation in the Philippines.

In line with this, the Assistant Secretary for Finance, Information Systems and Mining Concerns, Nonita S. Caguioa, organized a Learning Event on Bamboo Propagation and Nursery and Plantation Establishment with resource persons from the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau on March 11-12, 2021

The participants are composed of representatives from mining companies and Mines and Geoscience Bureau (MGB) Regional office.

With caution of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the learning event was divided into two parts, the first part was virtual training and the second part was an actual field mentoring participated by a limited number of participants.

The first day of the learning event was a virtual training composed of 200 participants nationwide. The topics that were discussed during the virtual training are (1) Importance of bamboo: (2) Use of bamboo for the rehabilitation of denuded areas, and (3) Basic course on bamboo propagation and plantation establishment.

The topics were discussed by ERDB employees, For. Romana Mauricio, For. Paul Cuadra, and Mr. Levi Lantican, respectively.

As a follow-through to the online learning, an actual field mentoring participated by 30 representatives from the mining companies in Rizal as the first batch, together with ASEC Nonita S. Caguiao and representatives from MGB was conducted at the ERDB Los Baños Experiment Station (LBES) in Mount Makiling Forest Reserve (MMFR).

The actual field mentoring was facilitated by the Forest Ecosystems Research Division (FERD) OIC Chief Florita E. Siapno together with Section Chiefs For. Paul J. Cuadra and For. Romana A. Mauricio; Mr. Nelson Levi Lantican, and selected FERD and LESD staff, in coordination with Laboratory and Experimental Services Division Chief, Dr. Marilyn Q. Lalican.

The participants also learned the different bamboo propagation techniques specifically using culm and branch cuttings.

Likewise, they learned how to select the appropriate bamboo for cutting and how to properly plant the selected cuttings. The session ended with the participants successfully planted their cuttings using the proper methods they have learned during the training.

During the closing program, Assistant Secretary, Nonita S. Caguioa who is always present to give motivational speech and encouraged the participants to apply and share what they have learned for the whole duration of the training. She also gave her appreciation to ERDB for accommodating the participants and the technical assistance provided during the event.

Throughout the learning event, ERDB and the participants ensured that health protocols were observed for the safety of everyone involved in the activities. Lady Gayvee DC. Corcuera, FERD