“BE A BAMBOO FARMER”
This was the call of Sen. Cynthia A. Villar when she opened the Bamboo Processing Factory last December. It is one of the programs offered by the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty alleviation and
This was the call of Sen. Cynthia A. Villar when she opened the Bamboo Processing Factory last December. It is one of the programs offered by the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty alleviation and Governance).
Established in 1992, the Institute’s programs include assistance projects to OFWs, environment protection and livelihood projects with 1,700 locations nationwide (as of summer 2017), and now ongoing is the development of LPPCHEA or the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat Ecotourism Area.
Sen. Cynthia Villar (right) together with DPWH Secretary Mark Villar
at the inauguration of the Bamboo Processing Factory in Pulang Lupa, Las Piñas City.
Through Villar SIPAG’s Farm School, classes are conducted for those interested to know more about agriculture and would like to be farmers or to become livestock and poultry entrepreneurs. The vision of Sen. Villar is “to have a farm school in every town in the Philippines.” The SIPAG’s farm School has initiated, among others, a bambosetum which boasts of 70 varieties of bamboo.
Bamboo is sustainable and could be the answer to the total logging ban.
Villar SIPAG Farm School has a bamboo setum with 17 varieties of bamboo.
According to Sen. Villar, the school is encouraging people with space to spare to plant the giant and spiny species of bamboo or kawayan tinik. She adds that the variety is ideal as a building material. “The kawayan tinik may be converted into laminates that make for sturdy, beautiful stairs or as railings,” shares Sen. Villar. Initially, the bamboo laminates will be used in Camella Homes which will showcase the beauty and durability of the kawayan tinik.
The kawayan tinik variety is prepared for knot removal and splitting.
With the newly-inaugurated Bamboo Processing Factory, a good and steady supply of raw bamboo is required, hence, the need to plant more kawayan tinik. Sen. Villar adds that “Bamboo-growing could be the best answer so far to the total logging ban; bamboo is more sustainable even when cut and harvested every year. When bamboo is cut, it grows easily and fast so we can turn bamboo into mass construction material.”
The factory has the machinery and technology to produce bamboo laminates, initially.
The Bamboo Processing Factory has five major sections—Bamboo Splitting, Knot Removal, Planing Area, Kiln and Drying, Varnishing/Finishing. It may have taken Villar SIPAG a few years to develop and complete the factory but as Sen. Villar says, “It is worth it, now we can really show everyone that we can do it. I just hope that more people will be encouraged to become bamboo farmers.”