About forty (40) stakeholders of the bamboo industry representing four (4) provinces of the region actively participated in the 1st Bamboo Cluster Meeting for CY 2017 on April 27 at the NERBAC-CV Conference Room in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

The participants were comprised of value chain players from nurseries, plantations, trading, nodes, hubs, Local Government Units and Government Agencies.

The meeting was initiated by the Department of Trade and Industry-R02 in response to the RDC-EDC Resolution recognizing bamboo as one of the priority sectors and in accordance to the 6-year old EO 879 supporting bamboo development in the countryside.

Mr. Michael Paggabao of DTI-R02 presented a summary of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Roadmap 2016-2040 published by the Board of Investments in 2016. He discussed the status of the industry both in the supply and demand sides, trends in imports and exports, the supply and demand analysis of bamboo in the country and its various uses for economic, social and ecological growth. More importantly, he expounded on the SWOT Analysis of Bamboo and the strategies included in the roadmap. Eliciting interests from the participants, major agreements were drawn out such as establishing a data gathering system to arrive with accurate and precise information of bamboo in the region. On this note, the team agreed to benchmark from the experience of Angadanan, Isabela which data on bamboo production is in place. Further, it was suggested that the team shall explore the possibility of coming up with a Bamboo Map for each province to identify sources of various bamboo species for specific uses.

Ms. Mary Ann Dy of DTI-R02 informed the participants on the fruits of last year’s consultations and workshops for several industries that paved way to the approval of the regional priority industries by the RDC-EDC. She emphasized the importance of the resolution enjoining all agencies to include in their PAPs some interventions to address the needs of the industries.

Mr. Paggabao presented the commitments of the different agencies as contained in the 2017 Work and Financial Plan for Bamboo which include among others the establishment of nurseries and plantations, trainings from nursery management to processing, technology support and others.

Lastly, the proposal on the creation of the Cagayan valley Bamboo Industry Development Council (CVBIDC) was approved and concurred by the participants. The CVBIDC is the counterpart of the PBIDC created by EO 879. The members of the council will be elected during the 1st Regional Bamboo Forum in June 2017. Once the council is created, it was agreed that position papers for the pending bamboo development bills in the Congress will be crafted and endorsed.