Mayor to seek exemption for Guagua woodcarvers

GUAGUA -- Mayor Dante Torres plans to talk with environment officials for allowing possible exemptions to local woodcarvers in the access of lumber for furniture making and woodcraft.

Torres on Monday, July 31, said he also plans to tackle with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources the possibility on how woodcarvers will be given the opportunity to bid for confiscated wood that is put on sale or auction.

The National Government is set on formulating stricter guidelines against illegal logging activities in the country.

But members of the Manudukit Anluagi ning Betis expressed alarm on this latest development.

Local ecclesiastical artist Willy Layug had asked the mayor and provincial officials to give the local woodcraft industry access to materials that they need.

The local furniture and woodcraft industries in Guagua account for a considerable source of livelihood for people of the Betis district in this town.

Torres said he will be forming a council that will look into the situation of the woodcraft industry in Guagua and provide a master plan for support and development particularly on marketing and product branding.

The mayor said that in order for smaller woodcarvers and furniture makers to succeed, they would need the help and support of the local government and the bigger players in the woodcraft business in Guagua.

Torres said the Municipal Government of Guagua is hoping to provide the necessary support programs to help woodcarvers.

He added that majority of woodcraft businesses here have already registered their businesses with the municipal government.

The mayor had given funding for a trainer for local woodcarvers and other would-be carvers to further their skills and craft.

He added that he envisions the expansion of woodcraft products to other novelty industries related to the craft.
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