Press Release
October 3, 2012


Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan urges the government to provide the country's farmers with the necessary technology and support to boost the Philippines' bamboo industry export output. The global demand is currently greater than the supply, and is expected to grow higher in the coming years.

"The global demand for bamboo is now at $10 billion. One would think that we should be among the top exporters of this 'wonder plant', but 69 percent of our bamboo exports come from natural stands in the forests. We must encourage our farmers to engage in bamboo cultivation to boost our output."

Pangilinan, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, says that the government must cultivate and leverage the country's natural resources as a means of generating jobs and incomes to Filipinos.

China is currently the world's leading exporter of bamboo, with a 50 percent market share. The Philippines ranks sixth.

"We are doing so little with our natural bounty. Here we have global demand for bamboo, which grows well in our soil and climate, yet we are yet again ill-prepared to meet market needs when this industry could very well provide good jobs for our people. We need not reinvent the wheel, so to speak, in coming up with solutions to give our people jobs and increase their incomes. We could very well be sitting on a gold mine, but we need to act fast and act smart to take advantage of the opportunities."

Pangilinan says that the committee will look into next steps and proposals to boost the sector's growth and sustainability.

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