By: Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario
LUBAO, Pampanga—A project that can maximize the economic and ecological potential of bamboo as an industry and source of livelihood for residents will soon be implemented here.
The municipal government here, led by Mayor Esmeralda G. Pineda, forged a deal on Thursday with a corporate foundation and a non-government organization for the planting and propagation of bamboo trees in Barangay Sta. Catalina here.
Pineda, together with representatives of Insular Foundation, Inc. (Insular), the charity arm of insurance giant Insular Life, and Philippine Bamboo Foundation, Inc. (PBF), signed the agreement that would launch the “Kawayanihan: Protecting the Environment and Lives through Community Work and Cooperation” project at the Lubao Bamboo Hub and Ecopark in this town.
Under the agreement, Insular will adopt a 1.8-hectare area of the riverbanks for bamboo planting.
“The overall project goal is to harness the potentials of bamboo in providing practical and effective use in helping to protect the ecosystem and provide economic activities to the communities in the area,” the agreement stated.
Insular will allocate PHP820,030 for the project to cover the expenses from planting to maintenance of the bamboo trees, including the salaries of workers to be employed in taking care of the bamboo propagules.
The LGU, on the other hand, was tasked to hire and train workers for the project while the PBF will provide technical assistance in preparation of the work plan of the project.
PBF is the partner of the municipal government in the establishment of the Lubao Bamboo Hub that has gained popularity as an alternative family-oriented tourist destination here.
The Bamboo Hub houses hundreds of bamboo clumps that were planted during the annual tree-planting activities of the municipal government.
Mayor Pineda, in a statement, thanked the partners for taking notice of the Bamboo Hub as the LGU’s way of underscoring environmental protection to create economic activities.
“Not only do we want to make the Bamboo Hub a primary tourist attraction but also to emphasize the need to protect our environment for future generations. If we start giving premium to environmental projects, we will surely reap its benefits one way or the other,” she said. (PNA)