The Department of Agriculture (DA) has officially classified the bamboo as a high-value crop, in a bid to promote it into an industry.

DA Usec. Evelyn Laviña said in a virtual presser Thursday that with bamboo as a high-value crop, various interventions can be undertaken to complement the programs and projects of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC).

She said that aside from the bamboo’s environmental benefits, it could generate income from its potential value-added products.

“Ang bamboo is considered as high-value crop — una, it is very good in the environment, nakaka-hold ng water and good also for climate, cooling effect of the climate, run ng water, puwede siya sa borders. Pero ang pinaka-importante diyan, itong bamboo ay ang laki-laki ng income, maraming puwede gawin,” she said.

Laviña said that bamboo could generate products such as toothpicks, barbeque sticks, bamboo cups, walls, furniture, and even fencing materials.

She added that DA is now establishing its system in the distribution of seedlings of bamboo but the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) had already distributed seedlings before.

DA is also working with DENR, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to work on the bamboo’s potential products and encouraging Filipinos to plant.

“Ngayon ang DA ay nag-i-establish, pero before ang DENR ay meron na silang seedlings na pinamimigay on bamboo. For the Department of Agriculture, dahil ito ay bago sa atin, dati kasi ay tinatawag na grass ito,” she said.

“Ito ay binigay na assignment ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources; now it’s the team of DA, DENR, DTI, with Agrarian Reform (DAR), nandito na rin yong bamboo sa atin, sa DA, kasi pwede na rin natin siya kainin, may income, may pambili na rin ng pagkain,” she added.

In a previous report of Palawan News, the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Brooke’s Point said that they are pushing to raise local awareness on the economic benefits of bamboo.

During the celebration of 11th World Bamboo Day on September 18, CENRO Brooke’s Point worked on the promotion of bamboo in aim to elevate the knowledge and appreciation of Palaweños with the economic opportunities from bamboo especially in the southern part of the province.