Alaminos City Commercializes Engineered Bamboo Products
Following a successful tie-up with a businessman in the commercialization of bamboo charcoal briquettes, the Ilocos Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (ILARRDEC) of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) has now started to promote its bamboo technologies in the local government level to further boost bamboo production and utilization in Region I.
ILARRDEC director Dr. Stanley Malab said during PCARRD’s 37th anniversary last November that the City of Alaminos in Pangasinan is now advocating the production and utilization of bamboo in its local industries, ranging from food establishments to the tourism sector.
The project is called “Science and Technology Intervention for the Promotion and Commercialization of Engineered Bamboo: Academe, LGU Partnership Model.”
Dr. Malab said that bamboo is now being chosen as Alaminos City’s main commodity for the One Town, One Product (OTOP) program of the Department of Trade and Industry.
The city government now requires the use of engineered bamboo materials in all restaurants and food establishments. This is also being adopted in Hundred Islands, one of Pangasinan’s tourist attractions. At present, engineered bamboo products are sought mainly for their aesthetic qualities.
Engineered bamboo is produced by laminating or gluing two or more layers of crushed, split, or veneered bamboo which can be made into engineered floors, chopping boards, table tops and furniture. This technology is developed by Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Batac, Ilocos Norte.
Under the project, the local government of Alaminos City ties up with MMSU for the provision of bamboo tile maker and other equipment used for making engineered bamboo products. The technical assistance and other funding requirements are provided by PCARRD and DOST.
“The concept of this project is to maximize the utilization of local bamboo resources which will become a potential source of livelihood for the community,” says Dr. Malab.
Hence, the local government of Alaminos will be tapping cooperatives for the production of engineered bamboo products.
Dr. Malab said that this project would also necessitate the rehabilitation of old and less productive bamboo clumps in the province to ensure sustainable supply of bamboo poles. In his previous studies, Dr. Malab cited that large areas of bamboo plantations in Region I have to be established to supply the increasing demand for poles and shoots. He said that Pangasinan can only sell 14 percent of its raw material productions to other provinces because of the existence of more than 1,000 processors in the province.
Around 28 out of 62 species of bamboo identified in the Philippines are found in the Ilocos Region. Among the important bamboo species are kawayan tinik (Bambusa blumeana), bayog (Bambusa sp.), botong (Dendrocalamus latiflorus), and giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper). Renewed and intensified interest on bamboo has resulted in its emergence as a good alternative to the decreasing supply of timber in the country