PALO, LEYE – Leyte province is eyeing to be the next bamboo capital in the country and all the 40 municipalities have committed to come up with a program for its propagation.

Palo Mayor Remedios “Matin” Petilla, who is also the president of the provincial chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, said every mayor in the province will come up with their respective “bamboo plan” including having their own bamboo park or bamboo farm in their towns.

Petilla said she is teaming up with former Agriculture Secretary Manny Pińol in pushing for a large-scale bamboo production in the province.

On Wednesday, 16 November, the municipal government of Palo hosted the Leyte Bamboo Summit at the Oriental Hotel where it invited advocates and bamboo experts in the country. The Bamboo Summit will also include an exhibit of different products derived from bamboo.

Aside from Pińol, among the guests include National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos, who is also the chairperson Emeritus of Bamboo Warriors Philippines. Carlos will talk about the “Threats and Impact of Climate Change on National Security.”

Other speakers include bamboo advocate Rimmon Parren on Giant Bamboo Program – Propagating, Growing and Harvesting of Giant Bamboo; Mark Sultan Gersava, Bambuhay Foundation – Bamboo Farming For Clean and Green Philippines; and Roderico Bioco of the Mindanao Bamboo Development Council on Creating A Bamboo Industry Through River Basin-Based Clusters.

Development Bank of the Philippines President Emmanuel Herbosa will also deliver a talk on DBP Financing Program For LGU Bamboo Processing Facilities. 

Bamboo is abundant in Leyte but there is no inventory on how much area is planted with it. However, Petilla said LMP is pushing for the giant bamboo and iron bamboo variety due to their bigger market value.

“Bamboos are growing just anywhere here. But there are many producers who are looking for bamboo and we cannot supply them,” she said.

Petilla added that bamboo growing also fits well with the climate in Eastern Visayas where it is often visited by strong typhoons. “Bamboos are resilient even to strong typhoons. It is very pliant; it bends with the wind,” she said. The mayor said the Visayas State University is already tissue culturing while Palo LGU has a tissue culturing nursery to further enhance the production. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail November 14-20, 2022 issue)