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Bamboo is fast becoming the eco-friendly alternative material to many every day products. In the Philippines, we have 16 local varieties of bamboo that grow in different parts of the country. Some of the native varieties of bamboo in our country today are the kawayantinik, bayog, botong, buho, bikal, killing, la-ak and giant bamboo.
Bamboo has enormous potential for alleviating many problems that the world faces today, both environmental and social. The increasing rate of tropical deforestation makes the search for alternative natural resources important. The characteristics of bamboo make it a perfect solution for the environmental and social consequences of tropical deforestation. Its biological characteristics make it a perfect tool for preventing soil erosion and reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Lastly, bamboo has rapid growth capabilities enabling it to reach maturity within 3-5 years versus 10-20 years for most softwoods. Therefore, bamboo is an ideal economic investment that can be utilized in many different manners.

The last 15 years has seen a dramatic growth in the variety of commercial bamboo products such as flooring, laminated furniture, building panels (similar to timber-based plywood, chipboard or MDF), high quality yarn and fabrics, activated carbon and bamboo extracts,. The emergence of bamboo as a timber substitute has coincided with a growing demand for timber. Bamboo’s appearance, strength and hardness combined with its rapid growth cycle and capacity for sustainable harvesting make it an increasingly attractive wood substitute.

Because harvesting of bamboo can be quite frequent, return on investment comes much quicker than investment in tropical timber plantations. Therefore, bamboo community forestry projects are economically more attractive, especially for small farmers with little capital. There is a considerable potential for bamboo’s use in rural development projects aimed at providing sustainable economic opportunities for the poor. Its high yield capability makes it a good cash crop for income generation, and thereby for improvement in the living standards in rural areas.


The market outlook for bamboo is strong. The recent developments have created new opportunities for bamboo markets to be targeted for livelihood development and poverty reduction. In particular, the emergence of near-source value-adding in modern supply chains increases the sector’s potential impact on economic development.

World trade on bamboo and bamboo products was estimated at US$12B in 2002 and is growing at US$2B yearly.  China’s share alone is to the tune of 50%.  The market for bamboo is expected to reach about US$20B by 2015.
Considering the great potential for the bamboo industry, the   Philippines intends to maintain its  position as the world's fifth largest exporter of bamboo and rattan products, after China, European Union, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The country has about 70 bamboo species belonging to 18 general. The potential supply of natural bamboo stands is placed at 35.9 million culms.  According to the Philippine Bamboo Foundation (PBF), there are 52,000 has.of bamboo land in the country. However, this area is not enough to support the increasing global demand for finished bamboo products. There is an estimated demand of 3.5 million poles for furniture and 575,000 poles for handicraft in 2010. The supply deficit is about 2 million poles for furniture and 340,000 poles for handicraft.   The percentage distribution of the raw material production is distributed to various industries/sectors as follows: furniture and handicraft (40%); fish pens, housing and construction (25%); vegetables and fruit industries (10%); and other uses (25%).

Bamboo-based furniture is one of the fastest growing furniture exports of the country with a growth rate of about 15 % annually.  Foreign trade statistics from 2000 to 2005 showed that bamboo furniture generated US$19.3 million or US$3.2 million per year in export revenues.

However, in the areas of furniture and handicrafts, there is a global market growth rate averaging at 7% with a value of US$8 billion annually.  The Philippine bamboo   handicrafts averaged about $368M in annual export earnings.  Exports mainly consist of basket and basket wares (92.47%) and furniture (7.41%).
Meanwhile, bamboo shoot is also in demand worldwide as food. Taiwan alone consumes 80,000 tons of bamboo shoots annually constituting a $50M industry.

The Bamboo Industry Development Framework

Executive Order No. 879 was promulgated on 14 May 2010 and took effect on 25 May 2010 to prioritize the promotion, product development, and market access of local bamboo products. The Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) was created under this EO to promote the bamboo industry development project and directing the use of bamboo for at least 25% percent of the desk and other furniture requirements of public elementary and secondary schools and prioritizing the use of bamboo in furniture, fixtures and other construction requirements of government facilities and allocating funds therefore and other purposes. 

It is composed of the following:

1.    Secretary of the DTI as Chair;
2.    Secretary of the DENR
3.    Secretary of the DA
4.    Secretary of the DepEd
5.    Secretary of the DOST
6.    Secretary of the DOLE
7.    Chair of the PBIDC Executive Committee
8.    President of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines
9.    Representatives from Non-Government Organizations
•    Bamboo Network of the Philippines
•    AHON Movement, Inc.
10.  Two Representatives from Private Industry Associations
•    Phil. Exporters Confederation, Inc.
•    Phil. Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.

General Objectives

  • To stimulate economic growth and increase job opportunities particularly for the marginalized sector in the country as well as contributing to climate and disaster mitigation.

Specific Objectives

  • To help in attaining the country’s commitment to reforest at least 500,000 hectares with bamboo as part of its contribution to the ASEAN commitment of 10 million hectares of new forest by 2020 as part of its initiatives to improve the environment;
  • To support the sustainable propagation of bamboo for a continuous mitigation of climate change through a more efficient capture of carbon emission and replacement of materials that are produced with high carbon credit/emission;
  • To create the need for bamboo products through product development;
  • To promote bamboo application through technologically advanced and innovative development of bamboo products;
  • To contribute to disaster mitigation since it can withstand strong typhoons and fire and has no known serious pests and diseases;
  • To be able to supply about 25% of the P1B desk requirements of DepEd;
  • To assist LGUs to promote and establish bamboo plantations, crafts and products starting in flood and landslide areas and to provide livelihood to CBFMs and to resettlements of informal settlers from vital waterways.
The Ebambu Philippines Project

The DTI-RODG under the leadership of Usec.Merly Cruz spearheaded the implementation of the Ebambu Philippines in 2008 which aimed to realize the potentials of the engineered bamboo as a better generator of employment and income for the people in bamboo farming communities.  It also aims to contribute to the clean and green program of the government to protect the environment.

Ebambu Philippines uses the following strategies:

1.    Establishment of Node

The  node is the primary processing facility that manufactures bamboo slats which involves gathering, treatment, cutting and splitting/ripping of bamboo poles,  used as raw material in producing engineered bamboo products. 

2.    Establishment of Hub

The hub is the production facility that manufactures engineered bamboo products like school desks, furniture, floor tiles/boards and other building materials.  The production processes include milling, lamination, assembly and finishing.

Central Luzon Bamboo Development Initiatives

In support to the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Project, the Central Luzon Bamboo Development Project was implemented. The project aims to promote the propagation of bamboo and converting it to different engineered bamboo products like furniture and home furnishings and construction materials/builder’s woodworks. It also supports the government’s thrust on environment protection, poverty mitigation and disaster management. The project will establish nodes in the region that can produce bamboo slats as raw materials for engineered bamboo products and hubs that will further process the bamboo slats into engineered bamboo products. Central Luzon is one of the first region to implement the project.

Advocacy and Promotion

The Advocacy on the Development of Central Luzon (ADCL) is key in the beginning of the development of the Bamboo as an industry in Central Luzon. Back in the last quarter of 2006, ADCL began campaigning for the propagation of bamboos because of the bamboo’s very positive impact on the environment particularly on mitigating the effects of global warming and disaster control. To date the organization stands firmly as a partner advocate of the bamboo, not merely for environmental reasons but also for the promotion of related industries.

Taking off from where ADCL started, the DTI sought promotion of the bamboo as a source of livelihood.

Recognizing the role of the media in the spread of information, dissemination of press releases, radio and television interviews were held. A feature story was also published on bamboo and the engineered bamboo industry in the 2nd publication of the OTOPreneur Magazine, a publication of the Department of Trade and Industry.

In all the formal turnovers of Engineered Bamboo Desks donated by the Central Luzon Growth Corridor Foundation, Inc. (CLGCFI) to selected elementary public schools all over the region, media was present to cover and disseminate the good news and further educate the public on the benefits and developments of the bamboo as an industry. Local media have been consistently invited to events such as the formal launching of the Lubao Bamboo Negosyo Village in July 2010 where President GMA graced and lead the inauguration ceremony.

Trade Fairs such as the Likha Ng Central Luzon also showcase products made from raw and engineered bamboo. LCL 2011 held in SM Megamall in Manila, featured a special display of the bamboo products ranging from small Gifts and House Decors to Furnitures.

The Bamboo Industry is also highlighted during incoming local study missions by schools to DTI as one of the potential businesses that prospect investors and aspiring entrepreneurs could venture into.

Institutional Building

The Provincial Bamboo Development Councils were created to fully promote and develop the bamboo industry of the provinces by directing programs and projects related to bamboo and by prioritizing the use of bamboo to help mitigate effects of global warming and to sustain the bamboo industry.

Capability Building

Various Organizational Management and Skills training programs were conducted by DTI and CITC to enhance the stakeholder’s skills on management of bamboo hub/node on bamboo propagation, materials selection, harvesting and treatment, machine operation, bamboo slats processing and engineered furniture manufacturing

Local & International Study Missions

Local and International Study Missions were undertaken to learn from the success of other nodes and hubs. These also gave the proponent the motivation to continue with the project by seeing the benefits of a successful bamboo development project.

The objective of the Study Mission to Zhejiang, China on 05-12 April 2011 is to learn how the bamboo industry in China started and developed into one of the most advanced, if not the most advanced in the world today. The main activities of the study included: visits to plantations, bamboo processing factories, manufacturers of bamboo processing machineries, marketing outlets for bamboo products and ecotourism sites that feature bamboo as one of their main attractions. The Study Mission with a delegation of 15 participants coming from LGU, SCADC and DTI3 was headed by Philippine Bamboo Foundation Vice President Romy Sta. Ana.

Establishment of Nodes and Hubs

Central Luzon aims to establish Bamboo Nodes which are considered to be the primary processing plants that can produce bamboo slats as raw materials for the engineered bamboo. The Bamboo Hub, on the other hand, will further process the bamboo slats into engineered bamboo products like bamboo school desks, furniture and construction materials.

As of to date, Central Luzon has six operating Bamboo Nodes and two Bamboo Hub.

Bamboo Nodes

Mt. Moriah Craft, Maria Aurora     
Owner: David A. Noveras
DTI Registered              

President: PrimitivoBinatugan
SEC Registered  

PAMANA, Llanera Node
CDA Registered PGA 6415
June 16, 2010

Sta. Catalina Bamboo Negosyo Village
Lubao, Pampanga

Magalang Bamboo Growers Association
Magalang, Pampanga

Woodinspirations Crafts, Sta. Ignacia
DTI / Mayor’s Permit / BIR / BMBE registered

Bamboo Hubs

Sta. Catalina Bamboo Negosyo Village
Lubao, Pampanga

Philippine Furniture Training Center
Mabalacat, Pampanga

The Sta. Catalina Bamboo Negosyo Village Project is an official community-based livelihood establishment which could support the municipality of Lubao in the improvement of their local economy especially in the agricultural sector.  It is located in the 24-hectare Municipal and Agro-Industrial Farms and Ecological Waste Processing Center in Brgy. Sta. Catalina, Lubao.  Within the next three years, it is envisioned to be one of the leading producers of engineered bamboo products in the region 

The village includes the following components:

  • Bamboo Plantation
  • Bamboo Mini Nursery
  • Bamboo Node (production site for the bamboo slats)
  • Bamboo Hub (production site for the bamboo school furniture)

The purpose of the project is to produce Engineered Bamboo School Furniture in line with Executive Order No. 879. This promotes the Bamboo Industry Development Project and directs the use of Bamboo for at least 25% of school furniture requirements of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools in the country.  It is mainly designed as a two stage project which will start with the community producing slats for engineered bamboo and in the second stage, a supplier of school furniture and other bamboo by-products like charcoal briquettes. 

Market Linkage and Promotion

One of the goals of the Central Luzon Bamboo Development Program is to create market for products made from bamboo that would help in alleviating the problems on employment and poverty in rural areas.

To achieve this, market linkages are being established to create livelihood and employment opportunities relating to bamboo manufacturing.

Bottomline Accomplishment

As a result of the various interventions provided for the development of the bamboo industry in Central Luzon, a total of P14.79M in investments and P4.22M in domestic sales were generated in 2011.  The number of jobs created during the year reached 2,648 with 36 MSMEs assisted.

National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP)

The bamboo industry cluster in Central Luzon is among the 21 priority industries in the country to be assisted under NICCEP.  The project will provide capacity enhancement to industry cluster managers, implementers and key players in the targeted industries to promote and adopt the industry cluster approach for industrial development.

As part of the capacity building program of NICCEP, DTI and JICA conducted pre-NICCEP workshops entitled “Industry Clusters Development: Sharing, Learning and Convergence Workshops” at the early part of 2012 year in four areas, namely: Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.  The workshops aims to strengthen the capacities of industry cluster development managers, implementers and key industry leaders on strategic development planning for industry cluster development using Value Chain approach and nurture convergence among different stakeholders towards industry clustering and explore possible complementation/cooperation with development partners.

Value Chain is a key framework for understanding how inputs and services are brought together and then used to grow, transform, or manufacture a product; how the product then moves physically from the producer to the customer; and how value increases along the way. The Value Chain analysis can be used in preparing upgrading strategies/Value Chain action plans for the targeted industries by addressing the gaps and weak-points identified in the chain.

The NICCEP Convergence Planning Workshops served as sequel to the Value Chain Training for Industry Cluster Facilitators/Convenors (Module 1) which was facilitated by GIZ on 8-11 November 2011 in Davao City. 

Participants of Module 1 gained working knowledge and appreciation of the Value Chain Development concept and methodology as an approach towards achieving industry cluster competitiveness. Outputs included the draft Industry Cluster Plans of bamboo, banana, coffee, dairy, rubber, coco coir, milkfish and pangasius for further validation with the industry stakeholders in their respective regions.
The Industry Cluster Development: Sharing, Learning and Convergence Workshop for Northern Luzon (Module 2) was conducted on 22-24 February 2012 at Oasis Hotel, Angeles City.  It was participated in by the stakeholders of the identified industry clusters as follows:
CAR          -   Coffee
Region 1    -   Dairy
Region 2    -   Milkfish
Region 3    -   Bamboo
The activities of the NICCEP Module 2, facilitated by Ms. Rita Pilarca and Mr. Lorenzo Templonuevo of GIZ  included the  leveling off  of  expectations of  cluster   members   in   the    project;   presentation and gridding of Industry Cluster Plans; discussion on possible areas of cooperation with development partners;  sharing of learning acquired from the overseas engagements  of  the  DICCEP  cluster  teams  (Banana,  Mango,  Tourism,  Wood, Mining  and  ICT)  as  well  as  their  application  of  these  lessons  to  the  Davao Industry   Clusters;   sharing  of DICCEP  Best  Practices  by  Industry Cluster Champions;  info sharing among cluster members including issues and concerns and field trips to selected industry cluster stakeholders.

Capacity Enhancement Support Modules for Industry Cluster Activities

The project uses comprehensive support modules for capacity enhancement of industry cluster players to build capacity in carrying out the industry cluster approach.

The Workshop on Cluster Approach for Industrial Development (Module A1-1) for Northern Luzon was conducted on 27 April 2012 at St. Giles Hotel, Makati City.  It was facilitated by NICCEP Team Leader Tetsuo Inooka. The participants were equipped with knowledge on industry cluster and the advantages of cluster approach for industrial development.

In the workshops, the participants conducted analysis of their respective industry clusters.  For Central Luzon, preliminary discussion on potential players in the bamboo industry cluster was carried out, including the cluster activities to be implemented for the development of the industry.

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Zenaida Cuison-Maglaya
Department of Trade and Industry-Regional Operation Group(DTI-RODG)

Tel. Nos. +63 2 751-3334, 751-5985, 896-3302
Fax Nos.: +63 2 890-4685, 895-3582
Email Address: rodg@dti.gov.ph
Website: www.niccep.dti.gov.ph
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Contact Us


Zenaida Cuison-Maglaya
Department of Trade and Industry-Regional Operation Group(DTI-RODG)

Tel. Nos. +63 2 751-3334, 751-5985, 896-3302
Fax Nos.: +63 2 890-4685, 895-3582
Email Address: rodg@dti.gov.ph
Website: www.niccep.dti.gov.ph
see more