CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Governor Lilia Pineda is expected to sign anytime next week the memorandum of agreement (MOA) enjoining different sector-participants on the project of bamboo propagation though the Provincial Bamboo Development Council (PBDC).

This was revealed by Department of Trade and Industry Provincial Caretaker Lenny Baluyut Thursday, adding that Pineda is just waiting for the streamlined recommendations of the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the PBDC assigned to organize the locations and the order of participants who would be planting the initial experimental grooves for the project.

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This came after Pineda met with the different sector-participants on Tuesday at the Provincial Board Session Hall accompanied by Vice Gov. Joseller “Yeng” Guiao and Board Members Monina “Monz” Laus, Tarcicio Halili and Ricardo Yabut.

During the meeting, Pineda expressed her intention of promoting the production and utilization of bamboo and its various products in the province. The MOA, she said, which is titled “Bamboo Production,” is expected to create the baseline supply of bamboo needed for the creation of bamboo crafts and other related products.

The Provincial Government, in the said MOA, is tasked to provide the propagules of plantable quality-size, organic fertilizer and the cost of maintenance for two years in terms of loans payable in kind (bamboo seedlings) after five years (50 percent) and seven years (50 percent) from planting. It will also provide technical backstopping, assistance and training (from establishment, harvesting to processing).

The PBDC will also conduct trainings on social awareness regarding environment protection and the possible impact of bamboo planting and assist in marketing of products (processed shoots and other food-products, poles and e-products) among others.

“We are very optimistic of the progress of the bamboo development plans of the province and we are very grateful for the support being given by the provincial government led by Gov. Pineda,” Baluyut said.

Meanwhile, Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PamCham) President Rene Romero said the program is proceeding according to plan. He said that Pineda told him of the many potentials of the bamboo industry in terms of projects and livelihood opportunities for Kapampangans.

“The environmental effects of the bamboo propagation are also very impressive. Bamboo is known to be an aggressive carbon arrestor and can help in the well-being of our environment and local communities. Eco-systems can develop around bamboo plantations and this makes the project even more exciting,” Romero said. PamCham, he said, has been very enthusiastic of the attention being given by Pineda on the bamboo development agenda.

PamCham, along with the Advocacy for the Development of Central Luzon in which Romero is chairman, are members of the PBDC.

The TWG is expected to present to Pineda the results of the streamlining soon. (Ian Ocampo Flora)