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LEYTE, Philippines – Officials of the municipality of Palo, Leyte launched on Tuesday, November 15, the province’s first Bamboo Summit, seeing the resilient plant as a means to improve livelihood and protect the vulnerable environment of the Eastern Visayas town.
“Bamboo thrives well in Leyte but there is a shortage of supply,” said Palo Mayor Remedios Petilla, who is also president of League of Municipalities-Leyte, at the opening of the Bamboo Show and Exhibit at The Oriental Leyte in Barangay Baras.
Noting the need to scout for strong bamboo in the mountains of Burauen town to meet Palo’s needs, Petilla urged planting the hardy plant in slopes and near waterways in a sustainable manner.
Aside from mitigating the impact of climate change in one of the country’s most vulnerable landscapes, the planting of bamboo can also provide Palo with the raw material for a thriving crafts and furniture industry, the mayor said.
Palo was devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Just one mass grave in front of its Cathedral, which was also severely damaged during Yolanda, contains the remains of close to 400 residents who perished in the disaster.
Petilla said the town envisions “a green growth, a socio-economic development platform to take the big leap and foster the social, economic, and benefits of bamboo for a sustainable future and inclusive growth.”
The exhibit features bamboo geodesic domes, bamboo furniture and office tables, musical instruments and toiletries, bamboo tea, surfboards and planting materials for giant bamboo and guadua or iron bamboo.
Former secretary of the Department of Agriculture Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol was invited for the opening rites. Vice Mayor Jonathan “Jojo” Chiquillo, and Sangguniang Bayan Members of Palo were also present.
The town invited bamboo art, industrial, and agro-forestry experts for a summit on Wednesday, November 16.
Aside from marketing and promotion, resource speakers will share tips for the expansion of Leyte province’s bamboo industry, with Mindanao furniture and products designer, Robert Palomares talking on “Engineered Bamboo Designs and Innovations”.
National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos will speak on how climate change affects national security with Development Bank of the Philippines president Emmanuel Herbosa will present financing programs local governments can tap for their bamboo industry program. – Rappler.com