OVER 3,600 Kawayan tinik (Bambusa blumeana) and Bayog (Dendrocalamus merrillianus) propagules have been planted in various National Greening Program (NGP) sites and forest reserves in Central Luzon.
The activity was led by various field offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the region during the simultaneous tree planting on Friday, September 17, 2021 in observance of World Bamboo Day and in line with the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program.
According to Paquito Moreno, Jr., executive director of DENR regional office, the region wide bamboo planting was fundamental both in rehabilitating denuded forest areas and in facilitating rapid recovery of river easements and in stabilizing river banks, particularly in Manila Bay areas and river systems in Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac.
“Bamboo offers a wide array of environmental benefits, which makes it a golden resource in the construction industry. In the implementation of our Manila Bay rehabilitation program, we consider it as a crucial component of soil erosion control and slope stabilization measures, which will fast-track our efforts to clean and restore river systems in the region,” Moreno said.
He said bamboo suitability assessment was conducted before planting bamboo propagules along riverbanks to determine appropriate bamboo species in the area.
It may be recalled that Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu made a marching order to plant and use bamboo as priority species to rehabilitate river banks and the Manila Bay, and maximize its capability as an alternative wood supply in the construction industry.
As this developed, Moreno reported that a 1.7-hectare bambusetum and bamboo nursery was established in Barangay Mambog in Hermosa, Bataan, where some 950 propagules of Giant Bamboo (Dendrocalamus giganteus), Yellow bamboo (Phyllostachys sp.), Budda belly bamboo (Bambusa venteicosa), Kawayan tinik (Bambusa blumeana), Kawayan kiling (Bambusa blancoi), and Bayog (Dendrocalamus merrillianus) species have been cultivated in partnership with the local government units.
DENR records show that more than 14,600 hectares of bamboo plantations have been established under the NGP since 2012.
World Bamboo Day is celebrated every September 18 to promote awareness on the economic and ecological importance of bamboo species.
This year’s theme, “Alay ng Bayan sa Inang Kalikasan, Kawayan,” underscores the importance of bamboo and its potential to aid in today’s most pressing socio-economic and ecological issues.