Issue of September 1, 2019
Mt. Province
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Baguio makes planting of bamboo part of envt’al plan
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

The city government of Baguio is highlighting its call for residents to nurture the environment for sustainable development by starting to develop gardens for bamboo in two barangays.

For its 110th Charter Day celebration, the city that earned the status as a pine tree capital kicked off its month-long celebration on Aug. 30 by launching a bamboo nursery or “bambusetum” within the perimeters of Dominican Hill to promote the planting of bamboo among residents.

The local government through the City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo) partnered with the Philippine Bamboo Foundation (PBF) which donated propagules of bamboo species suitable to the Baguio climate and landscape.

Aside from Dominican Hill, City Tourism Office Supervising Administrative Officer Aloysius Mapalo said Mayor Benjamin Magalong is also looking at some areas in Quirino Hill that can be planted with bamboo and eventually in other suitable areas.

He said the mayor would like the planting of bamboo to be a major environment program that could be initiated around the city to promote bamboo and its advantages.

Mapalo said Cepmo is closely coordinating with the PBF, which cited the bamboo as the next timber, and for its distinct characteristics that make it an effective disaster mitigating tool.

Aside from being a food source and main raw material for construction and other byproducts, Mapalo said bamboo could serve as protection when planted in slopes and landslide-prone areas like Baguio.

In 2015, PBF through president Edgardo Manda did an aggressive information drive in Baguio to explain the technical aspects of bamboo propagation so that the city government could be guided should it decide to make it as part of its environment policies.

It also aimed to explore how bamboo could fit into the city’s development. Manda then said that Baguio’s weather and environment is suitable for bamboo propagation and there a variety of species that could grow in the city.

At the moment, some “kakawayanan” or bamboo sanctuaries in the city are located at St. Francis Xavier Seminary in Barangay Pacdal and San Pablo Major Seminary in Crystal Cave barangay, which are projects of the Diocese of Baguio.

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