Bamboo has long been utilized in building houses, furniture and even housewares in the country. The bamboo industry also continues to flourish not only in local but also in the international market.
Bamboo floor tile
As the supply of wood for furniture production decreases, engineered bamboo is set to replace it.
Engineered bamboo is produced by laminating or gluing two or more layers of crushed, split, or veneered bamboo which can be made into different products.
As a beneficiary of the Bamboo Enterprise Development Project of the National Economic Development Authority in 2008, the University of the Philippines in the Visayas started a community-based development facility which advocates for the setting up of nurseries for bamboo plantations in the first district of Iloilo.
The harvest of the plantations from the municipalities of Guimbal, Igbaras, Miagao, Oton, San Joaquin, Tigbauan and Tubungan are then used as materials for the Green Bamboo Enterprise.
GREEN BAMBOO ENTERPRISE
The Green Bamboo Enterprise is a maker of engineered bamboo products such as office and desk accessories, home crafts, wall shelf, flooring and wall pads, and furniture.
The group is composed of the faculty of the UPV and some members of the community.
According to Green Bamboo Enterprise staff Marjorie Cajeben, since the program started in 2008, it has helped people who depend on bamboo planting as their livelihood.
Cajeben shared that from the P4 million initial fund, a processing factory was established in the municipality of Miagao. It also serves as the training center for the workers who are part of the community.
Green Bamboo Enterprise staff
After the training, the participants are given microenterprise development assistance to help them market their products.
Decorated coin bank
For sustainability, the community is also trained on bamboo rehabilitation and expansion of the nursery.
ADVANTAGE OF BAMBOOS
Compared to the usual bamboo, the engineered ones stay longer.
Milyn Leghid, College Business Manager of UPV said engineered bamboo can be used in a myriad of ways, such as for scaffolding, roofing, flooring, and for walls.
It is comparatively cheaper than concrete hollow blocks.
Despite the use of machines, Leghid said that the creativity of the workers is incorporated in every design.
“The work is laborious but the result could be seen in every output they make,” said Leghid.
Posed as the promising alternative to concrete blocks, the engineered bamboo industry will also help in reducing the use of sand and gravel which may become scarce if not protected.*