BACOLOD CITY – The municipality of Cauayan is positioning itself to become the “Bamboo Capital of Southern Negros Occidental” to provide more livelihood opportunities to its residents and boost the local economy.
After initiating the first-ever Bamboo Summit over the weekend, the municipal government headed by Mayor John Rey Tabujara has identified areas for bamboo planting, including Barangay Talacdan, which will serve as the pilot site.
“We already took the first step towards making Cauayan the ‘Bamboo Capital of Southern Negros Occidental’,” Tabujara said in a statement on Tuesday.
He added that Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and 6th District Rep. Mercedes Alvarez have committed support to the program.
As part of the efforts, the municipal government formed the Bamboo Program Committee supervised by municipal agriculturist Daniel Dayono and bamboo project focal person Ruel Eleccion.
The identified areas for bamboo planting have been assessed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Kabankalan City.
“I thought of this initiative six years ago because the name of our place is Cauayan. Even in our municipal seal, the bamboo plant is also there. Our festival has been named ‘Lubay-Lubay’ based on the characteristic of bamboo that swings,” Tabujara said.
During the summit, which was also attended by participants from other local government units, the resource persons included former Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, giant bamboo program advocate Myrna Decipulo, leading bamboo furniture and products designer Robert Palomares, bamboo products entrepreneur Mark Gersava, and artist and eco-warrior Nicky Dumapit.
Lectures focused on various topics such as propagating, growing and harvesting of bamboo, the production of high-value items made of bamboo, and the impact of climate change on tree farming.
Tabujara said he learned about the importance of bamboo during his discussions with Piñol.
“He is one of those who orients me. Then I decided to buy bamboo propagules to be planted in Cauayan. We also explored livelihood programs from bamboo that we can provide to our constituents,” the mayor said.
In his message, Lacson said the bamboo summit is one way of promoting the emergence of the uses of bamboo not widely known before.
“Bamboos have a very significant role in the economy and the environment, and the provincial government is in full support of making Cauayan the ‘Bamboo Capital of Southern Negros Occidental,” he added. (PNA)