GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 November) — The provincial government of South Cotabato plans to open by early next year the province’s first production hub for engineered bamboo products in nearby Koronadal City.
Rudy Jimenea, executive assistant at the Office of the Provincial Governor, said the local government is presently working on the initial development works for the bamboo hub, which was seen to further enhance the province’s thriving bamboo industry.
He said the development of the bamboo hub is being assisted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 12.
“We’re promoting the (commercial production of) engineered bamboo through the DOST,” Jimenea said.
Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr. earlier said he has approved the purchase of several machines and equipment for the provincial bamboo hub.
He said they initially comprise a thickness planer, joint planer, laminating table, air compressor, single spindle molder, wide belt sander, circular saw sliding table, band saw, bench drill, grinder planer knives, and sharpening circular saw.
Once operational, the hub is capable of manufacturing of tiles, planks and other products that may be used for the construction of engineered bamboo products such as chairs, tables, panels, and many others.
Jimenea said the opening of the provincial bamboo hub, which will be temporarily located at the Provincial Productivity and Technology Center (Protech) in Koronadal City, will mainly complement the local government’s ongoing efforts to establish bamboo nodes in several parts of the province.
A briefer issued by the Provincial Environment Management Office described the bamboo nodes as facilities where raw bamboos are cut, sliced, treated and dried. It is equipped with a bamboo pole cutter, two twin rip saws and a treatment splitter.
From the nodes, processed bamboos would be sent to the bamboo hub, where the final processing into finished products would take place, it said.
Jimenea said the provincial government helped open recently the province’s first bamboo node in Barangay San Vicente in Banga town.
The establishment of the facility was assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)–South Cotabato, which released a P350,000 grant to a group of bamboo producers in the area through the agency’s Rural Micro-Enterprise Promotions Program.
DTI had set aside some P9.5 million for the establishment of the bamboo nodes, especially the procurement of machines, tools, and equipment for primary processing, kiln drying operation, and final processing of planks and panel. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)