Lawmaker Pushes for Sustainability Through Bamboo Industry Development Act
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, October 23, 2019 4:34pm
Art by Dani Elevazo
When we think of something sustainable, one of the things that come into mind is bamboo. We have online shops specialized in zero-waste products that use bamboo as the main material for their products—straws, toothbrushes, utensils, and even fabric. These little purchases are also small steps to protect our environment. How great it would be for Mother Nature if we have a law that puts the spotlight on the utilization and protection of the bamboo industry.
Seeing the potential of bamboos for sustainability, AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Representative Sharon Garin pushes for the development of the country’s bamboo sector through the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Act.
The Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Act (The House Bill 3373) talks about maximizing our bamboo resources to promote sustainable management. The bill would require the Department of Environment and Natural resources to plant bamboo for at least 20 percent of its annual reforestation and rehabilitation programs.
It would also require the Department of Education to produce 25 percent of its annual desks and chairs in public schools with the use of bamboo instead of plastic and other kinds of material.
“This is an opportune time to utilize bamboo, both economically and environmentally. Bamboo has properties of fast growth and rejuvenation after cutting, which makes it a harvestable yield every one to two years once maturity is reached,” Garin said.
Garin stresses bamboos can reduce carbon footprints (carbon dioxide emissions) and reduces water erosion. This grass plant is easy to grow and doesn’t need constant tending. It only takes one to two years to grow and it regenerates on its own.
Apart from the environmental benefits of bamboo, it can also help in the country’s economic state. The development of the bamboo industry would mean livelihood for the people, including Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), marginalized communities, unemployed, and retrenched Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
The Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Act is still in the works but it’s still a step towards helping the environment. We long for a Filipino community that has a stable income has and a heart for sustainability, too. Once this bill is passed, it would help elevate our economy and alleviate the environmental crisis.
This story is based on a Philippine News Agency article.