The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol led by OIC, Regional Executive Director Atty. Antonio A. Abawag joins the nation in celebrating the World Bamboo Day (WBD) through a Bamboo Shoots planting activity at Barangay Panoypayan, Bula, Camarines Sur on September 18, 2020.

In her opening remarks, Bula Mayor Amelita A. Ibasco expressed her appreciation to the DENR for choosing Bula as the planting site. Bula is the seat of bamboo industry in Camarines Sur. She shared that bamboo thrives in their municipality. “There is an allocation of 30,000 hectares of land for a bamboo plantation and a foreign investor manifested interest in supporting the project. If this eco-tourism project materializes, it will definitely encourage my constituents to engage in the bamboo industry”, she said.

World Bamboo Day started in Thailand in 2009 during the Bamboo Summit. RED Abawag emphasized the benefits derived from bamboo. “Bamboo has many uses, actually, one can use bamboo in its entirety without wasting any of its part. For one, it can also control soil erosion. As the municipality of Bula is a flood prone area, bamboos are suitable along its riverbanks to prevent soil erosion,” he said.

“Secretary Roy A. Cimatu suggested to focus on the propagation of bamboo as part of the National Greening Program (NGP) to provide livelihood to the common people and encourage everyone to plant bamboo even in private lots as there is income in the bamboo industry.” added RED Abawag.

Meanwhile, Congresswoman Jocelyn F. Fortuno of the 5th District of Camarines Sur expressed her joy as she supports the advocacy of the municipality of Bula in the propagation of bamboo. Cong. Fortuno said that it is her advocacy to act in her own little way that would help mitigate the effects of disasters.

Also present during the activity were DENR V OIC, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services (ARDTS) Atty. Ronnel C. Sopsop, Camarines Sur PENR Officer Grace L. Cariño, Sur, Lt. Col. Carl Calumbag of the Philippine Army (PA), Ms. Chiony Morra, representative of DTI Provincial Director Edna Tejada, Sipocot CENR Officer Eduardo A. Ampongan, Iriga CENR Officer Nestor Franz A. Fortuno, Punong Barangay Salvador Sendon, and other stakeholders.

This year's theme, "Pamanang Kawayan: Luntiang Ginto ng Kagubatan," underlines the ecological and economical benefits of bamboo. Called the 'green gold', bamboo is one of the most sought-after commodities being a good alternative for wood. It also plays a vital role in forest recovery and climate change adaptation and mitigation.