CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - Advocacy for the Development of Central Luzon (ADCL) Chairman Rene Romero called on the private sector Sunday to harness the full potential of the grass bamboo as an alternative construction and building material.

Romero also led the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Incorporated (PamCham, Inc.) in creating its own Bamboo Development Council.

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Romero said bamboo can well serve the needs and demands for indigenous resources that have lesser effects on environmental degradation. He also said that the private sector's bamboo propagation and development program is going full blast.

"Recently, together with our partners, we were able to deliver about 25 classroom desks for students in a grade school in Lubao. It was some sort of trial but the end product was very good as the desks were tougher than your usual wood," said Romero.

He showed Sun.Star Pampanga a new kiosk he was building in his backyard using bamboo and other indigenous materials.

"Like this one where we tapped on all natural materials like capiz, coconut husks, bamboo and stone bricks. The ceiling is made of bamboo boards from beaten young bamboo while the bar is made from discarded coconut husks and shells from Bicol. Although we don't have that much coconuts in the area, we are also looking at the possibility of complementing our bamboo program with other resources like coconuts," he said.

Romero narrated that both the ADCL and PamCham are now moving for the propagation of the grass.

"Bamboo grows best in sandy-loam soil and we have a lot of that here in the province and the region and we re looking at propagating it more through the concerted efforts of our members and advocates. Bamboo has so much potential and nothing goes to waste. Through the program, we eventually would want to generate employment and livelihood for people," Romero said.