Govt decrees use of bamboo for furniture

Published by rudy Date posted on June 7, 2010

PRETTY soon, public schools and government agencies will sport a “greener” look with bamboo desks, chairs and tables.

President Gloria Arroyo has signed an executive order that would, among other things, pave the way for the use of bamboo in government furniture for public elementary and secondary schools and government offices.

By signing Executive Order 879, the President established the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council that will promote the planting and use of bamboo over the next 10 years, and to soften the impact of climate change and place the country in a better position to partake of the $8-billion global market for bamboo products.

The council will receive initial funding of P20 million to provide policy and program direction There are only 40,000 hectares of land plantedto bamboo in the Philippines, but the country needs some 200,000 hectares just to meet local demand.

Bamboo has unique qualities and offers a wide array of uses. The bamboo has long been tapped as an inexpensive source of housing materials, furniture, handicraft, banana props, fish pens and other products. The young shoots of certain species are gathered for food. The rhizomes in the roots help prevent soil erosion and control floods. Because of the bamboo’s large fibers, it is also a good material for pulp and paper.

According to the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development, out of the 62 bamboo species growing in the Philippines today, only 21 species are native.

The council will have the Trade secretary as chairman, while its members will include the heads of the departments of Environment, Agriculture, Education, Science and Labor; the Trade undersecretary for regional operations; the head of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, two representatives from non-governmental organizations, and one representative each from two private industry associations.

Bamboo will also be the priority for furniture, fixtures and other construction requirements of government facilities. –Manila Standard Today

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