TALISAY City will give priority on the bamboo industry which was officially launched Thursday during the One Town One Product (Otop) launching at the City Hall.

May Castro of the Negros Occidental Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Talisay City is now considering a nursery plantation for a massive production of bamboo craft.

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“From poor man’s lumber to rich man’s wood, from lowly nipa hut to luxury villas/resort, from domestic to international market,” this can be the shift of the way we look at bamboo, after sometime if the project will go on full swing and developed to the fullest, said Frank Bonoan, Executive Director of the Cottage Industry Technology Center during the launching Thursday.

Bamboo is a grass that grows to as high as 50 feet at a short period of time and one of the most sustainable and readily renewable. Because of its being alternative to lumber it can help reduce destruction of old growth forest.

Among its varied uses are for construction, agriculture/forestry, furniture, interior designs, bamboo craft/gift items, cooking utensils/food containers, garden tools, firewood/charcoal, musical instruments, schools supplies, toys, traditional weapons etc. It may increasingly replace plastics and wood products.

Another important use for bamboo is food. The shoots are used in many Asian countries as vegetable –sometimes eaten raw, pickled or boiled.

As a promising industry, Bonoan enjoined everyone especially the Talisaynon to support the project.

“Making use of the abundance of bamboos not just in domestic market but also for export will advance economic growth of the country at the same time preserve the environment and mitigate the looming effects of climate change”, Bonoan said.

Also present during the launching was Regional Director Dominic Abad of DTI and some local officials of the city.

Otop Philippines is a priority program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs in the countryside.

Otop was adopted from the “One Village, One Product” (Ovop) project of the Japan and its success led to the adoption of the concept by Thailand, Vietnam, Malawi, Cambodia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Through Otop, local chief executives take the lead in identifying, developing and promoting a specific product or service, which is distinct in their locality and has a competitive advantage through the use of local skills and indigenous raw materials.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can also avail of comprehensive package of services from the LGU, government agencies and private sector. These services are technical support, fund sourcing, branding and package design, business skills and access to markets both local and foreign.

In Negros Occidental, the 13 cities and 19 municipalities are promoting products such as processed foods, handicrafts, aquaculture and agriculture products and garments. There are also cities/municipalities which are promoting tourist destinations as their Otop.

Otop Products of other towns and cities in the province are : Bacolod – Giftware & Holiday Decor with Masskara Accent,Bago – Silk, Escalante City-Dried Fish, Himamaylan City-Processed Bangus, Kabankalan City-Turones de Mani, La Carlota City-Dairy Products, San Carlos City-Peanuts, Sagay City-Squid Rings, Silay City-Native Delicacies, Sipalay City-Tourism, Victorias City-Gawahon Eco-Park, Binalbagan, Calatrava-Pandan products, Candoni-Lime, Cauayan-Corn and Don Salvador Benedicto-Pineapple. (Teresa Ellera-Dulla)