MANILA — Deforested lands in the country may be rehabilitated soon with bamboo and rattan plants to help mitigate the ill-effects of climate change.
Rep. Linabelle Ruth R. Villarica (4th District, Bulacan) said studies have shown that growing bamboo can reduce the sensitivity of ecosystems and help to rehabilitate degraded lands.
Villarica filed House Bill 4965, which provides for an Integrated National Bamboo and Rattan Development Program (INBRDP) and establishes the Philippine Bamboo and Rattan Centers.
She said as provided under the bill, it is the policy of the State to promote a program to achieve environmental equilibrium and ecological awareness through the conduct of scientific and technological studies on the application and utility of bamboo and rattan.
One of the objectives of the INBRDP is the propagation of high quality, genetically superior planting stocks through biotechnology to reduce losses caused by pest and diseases.
Another is the dispersal or distribution of planting materials to be disposed at nominal amount. This should benefit the small holder farmers and CARP beneficiaries.
The production or bamboo farming and/or plantation development and management for backyard and semi-commercial production and the utilization, processing and marketing including high value product development are just among the objectives of the program.
Likewise, training and extension, including technology packaging and transfer; research and technology as well as socio-economic researches to ensure economic viability and acceptance of technology by farmers are within the scope of the program.
The INBRDP also calls for the establishment of at least five hectares of bamboo setum and five hectares rattan gene bank to ensure the preservation of the existing bamboo and rattan genetic materials in the country and provide option to the farmers.
Under the bill, bamboo and rattan centers shall be established to specialize the development of technology on propagation, breeding, plant nutrition, site species matching, and processing of bamboo and rattan raw materials.