Press Release
November 24, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara recently launched a new initiative as part of his ongoing commitment to the growth and progress of MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) in his home province of Aurora--the Aurora Bamboo Center (ABC) located in the municipality of San Luis.

The ABC: A Center of Engineered Bamboo in Luzon is a project initiated jointly by the Office of Senator Edgardo J. Angara (OSEJA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Aurora Buffalo Cooperative.

"The continued development of MSMEs is vital to improving the livelihood of many Filipinos, especially those in the countryside," explained Angara. "And I believe initiatives that make use of resources abundant in the immediate area of the MSMEs would be the ones particularly beneficial to them."

According to the DTI, Aurora is a prime processing hub given the availability of suitable lands for bamboo and other secondary forest products. Aside from being a substitute for lumber, bamboo is also an effective means of capturing carbon dioxide, making it useful in safeguarding the environment.

"These factors only underscore how the ABC will be beneficial not just to the municipality of San Luis but also to the surrounding towns," said Angara.

The ABC has four major components: the Shared Service Facility (SSF)l; the Production and Processing Center; the Training Center and a Display Showroom and Marketing Center.

Bamboo growers in nearby areas can bring their products to the ABC for processing at a minimal rate. Workshops and seminars will also be held at the center for these growers to further develop their business.

Around 10 to 19 existing MSMEs are the target beneficiaries of the ABC, benefiting some 100 farmers and bamboo growers from surrounding towns. The existing bamboo node operation in Brgy. Wenceslao, Maria Aurora will also benefit from the project, given its accessibility and strategic location.

To help set up the center, the DTI provided the necessary machinery and equipment for bamboo processing. The Aurora Buffalo Cooperative, on the other hand, is tasked with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the center.

Angara emphasized, "I am glad that the DTI recognizes the potential of Aurora to become one of the primary suppliers of bamboo products and materials for Luzon, as our province is the most abundant in wild and cultivated bamboo tin Region 3."

The primary output of the ABC will be engineered bamboo or "e-bamboo," which are processed bamboo slats that look like and may be used as conventional lumber. This material can be used for school desks, lightweight furniture, handicrafts even for flooring, paneling and other industrial purposes.

Angara expressed hope that the ABC will start operating in full capacity during the first quarter of 2013.

The veteran lawmaker concluded, "If successful, I believe grassroots initiatives like the ABC should be replicated across the country so that more will be able to lift themselves out of poverty."

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