There is money in quality-designed bamboo products


by Bernie Magkilat, via Manila Bulletin |

There is money in high quality design bamboo products. Thus, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is encouraging entrepreneurs to produce bamboo products with high design content coupled with global standards.

During the recent launching of the Philippine Bamboo Showcase, DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said that products with high design content and high quality standards can command five or ten times higher price.

“It takes more effort in terms of designing and craftsmanship but that is really where we have to aspire,” Domingo added.

The Philippine Bamboo Showcase is organized by the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) led by DTI and in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Science and technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like the Bamboo Phil and Ahon Movement, and industry associations like the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).

bamboo2 bamboo3Running from September 2 to December 2, 2014, the showcase is the PBIDC’s contribution to this year’s World Bamboo Day celebration on September 18. This celebration aims to increase the awareness and significance of bamboo globally.

This three-month long event intends to showcase and feature bamboo as a main material for school furniture, construction materials, temporary shelter for families devastated by natural calamities like typhoons Yolanda and Glenda.

“This (period) will give the general public enough time to visit and be inspired and informed by the various exhibits,” Domingo said.

The event also aims to show various bamboo products in art installations and high-end furnishings for home interior and furniture in compact spaces like condominium and offices.

“This showcase is very important because it is not only a venue for designers to show their products, it is also to educate our entrepreneurs and the general public at what we can do in terms of design,” Domingo said.

Domingo said that the private sector and government engaged professional designers and gifted students to come up with the fresh designs that will be exhibited as prototypes and visual presentations.

“The event also aims to highlight the general interest in the use of bamboo for the construction of socialized housing in temporary shelter for calamity victims. I guess we have spaces allocated for full size prototype houses accompanied by visual presentations or concepts that can help mitigate the challenges brought by natural catastrophes that our country has often encountered and will continue to encounter,” Domingo said.

DTI Assistant Secretary Blesila A. Lantayona said the PBIDC is mandated to develop the country’s bamboo industry through a three pronged program or approach that includes planting and using bamboo to significantly contribute to the overall efforts to reduce poverty and mitigate disaster risks and climate change effects.

These approaches are environmental management (led by DENR), business development (led by DTI), and the social development (led by NGOs and private industry associations).

Lantayona said this program employs the industry cluster strategy and value chain approach to bring together the various stakeholders of public private and civil society sectors to work effectively together towards the intended goal.

Executive Order 879 was issued in 2010 creating the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council to provide the overall policy and program direction of the bamboo industry for the benefit of all industry stakeholders.

The EO also specified the use of bamboo for at least 25 percent of the desk and other furniture requirements of public, elementary and secondary schools. It also directed the use of bamboo in fixtures and other construction requirements of other government facilities.

The Department of Agriculture was also task to identify idle and marginalized agricultural areas suitable for bamboo plantations. This should be done without sacrificing areas used for food production. DA shall assist in establishing bamboo nurseries and in bamboo propagation with focus on bamboo shoots production.

[Featured photo topmost: HIGH DESIGN CONTENT AND QUALITY – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory L. Domingo (left) together with Assistant Secretary Blesila A. Lantayona (second from right) and Cottage Industry Technology Center (CITC) Executive Director Franklin P. Bunoan (right) closely look at some of the high-end furniture displayed at the showroom of the Philippine Bamboo Showcase during its launch on September 2, 2014 at the Design Center Philippines (DCP), Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex in Pasay City. During the launch, Domingo encouraged entrepreneurs to produce bamboo products with high design content coupled with high production quality. In the product development program supported by DTI, the CITC and the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines, Inc. (CFIP) aims to establish a culture of innovation in the industry by creating high-end furniture and furnishings. It also intends to achieve sustainable growth and global competitiveness with furniture products of excellent quality, exemplary in design and craftsmanship, and distinctive in value. Also in the photo is PHILEXPORT Board of Trustees for the furniture sector Myrna Bituin.]