P33M raised to sponsor bamboo industry in the Philippines

Oas, Albay—Nearly P33 million in dollars was raised to develop bamboo industry in the Philippines during the 2023 Impact Philanthropists Banquet Manila held February 18 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Bonifacio Global City inTaguig. 

Along with the Group Initiative for Better Opportunities (GIBO) Inc., the Rotary International was able to raise 600 thousand dollars during the launching of Bamboo Initiative Grants for the Philippines (BIG.ph), a project designed tocreate and develop bamboo industry in the country.

Various impact philanthropists pledges the said amount to be utilized for the roll out of BIG.ph. Bicol was also named as one of the next two areas ready for roll out this quarter.

“The funds will [be used] for the roll-out of BIG.ph nationwide. It would take care [in] providing seedlings to be planted in thousands of hectares all over the country,” said Bong Rodriguez, a representative of GIBO Inc., in an interview with Bicol.PH. 

Rodriguez also said that there is a minimum of 200 hectares plantation coverage allotted for Camarines Sur alone. 

“Initially in Naga, Ocampo, San Jose, and [other] towns around Mt. Isarog, but the vision is to spread the plantations in the entire province of Camarines Sur,” Rodriguez said.

GIBO Inc. shares the same initiative to develop giant bamboo nurseries in Bicol, specifically by targeting idle lands around Mt. Isarog and create plantation that will serve as wind and water buffers in Naga and other neighboring towns around the mountain.

This initiative sparked the decision of Rotary International to champion the region as the focus area for BIG.ph.

Rotary International is a global organization that takes part in advocating change across the globe to promote peace, environmental protection, education and good welfare of the people.

Bamboos for climate action

Meanwhile, Edna Sutter, the convenor of BIG.ph sees the development of the project as a value chain of the bamboo sector that can potentially create new opportunities for the country as an industry.

They envision this to happen within the first 5-7 years of the first harvesting of giant bamboos.

On the other hand, the project also aims to serve as a way to resolve and mitigate climate crisis in the country. 

“There are two motivations, to seize opportunities in the bamboo industry that can impact the lives of many communities and to take active part in responding on [issues] of climate change,” Rodriguez said. 

According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), bamboos plays an integral part in combating climate change most especially in the rural areas of the world. 

Bamboos also help to reduce deforestation as it quickly regrows and matures faster than other trees. 

Moreover, various products made from the material such as bamboo charcoal and gas serves as an alternative to generate sufficient electricity replacing and mitigating dangerous effects of fossil fuel in the environment. 

“We are very much optimistic for this project because it has major environmental and economic impact for our communities in the province,” Rodriguez said with great anticipation for the success of the project. 

The bamboo nurseries of BIG.ph will be planted in three months time in Camarines Sur. | via Ken Oliver Balde


International Fund for Agricultural Development (Jan. 2020). Five ways bamboo can fight climate change. https://www.ifad.org/en/web/latest/-/story/five-ways-bamboo-can-fight-climate-change

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Photos: Bong Rodriguez