CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The government highlighted the bamboo’s capabilities as a strategy, especially for local government units (LGUs) in Mindanao, in reducing disaster risk during the occurrence of natural hazards as well as climate change adaptation during the HANDA Pilipinas: Innovations in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Exposition 2023 (Mindanao leg) here on Wednesday, October 4.
SCIENCE and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum delivers a speech during the opening of the HANDA Pilipinas: Innovations in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Exposition 2023 (Mindanao leg) in Cagayan de Oro City on Wednesday, October 4. (Franck Dick Rosete)
Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum underscored the bamboo’s capabilities during the first day of the event.
He stressed that bamboo can be used for disaster efforts.
“You can use it for food. You can use it for construction. We can engineer the bamboo for trusses and columns. You can wear bamboo as barong like what I do,” Solidum said in his speech during the opening ceremony at Limketkai Atrium.
Bamboo is well-renowned for its excellent soil and water holding abilities which prevents soil erosion and flooding as well as its very high potential to sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also works well as a windbreaker.
A Cagayan de Oro-based bamboo processing firm, Rizome Bamboo, has partnered with Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in Mindanao – mostly in Bukidnon – through a Memorandum of Understanding where IPs are tasked with growing giant bamboos and the company as the exclusive buyer, according to an article from the Philippine News Agency.
“The bamboo trunks it gets from IP communities are processed to become construction materials as an alternative to wood by-products,” the article said.
Many LGUs and non-government organizations have been conducting bamboo tree-planting activities to mitigate floods and prevent landslides.
A FIBER boat on display outside the venue of the HANDA Pilipinas: Innovations in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Exposition 2023 (Mindanao leg) in Cagayan de Oro City on Wednesday, October 4. (Franck Dick Rosete)
The expo which ends on October 6 features national and local exhibitors showcasing technologies, programs, projects, research and development, and services that can be used for disaster preparedness and some of them used bamboo.
A part of the activities prepared for HANDA Pilipinas was Tala-Kawayan – a forum which involved two panel discussions featuring resource speakers from the industry and policy sector to discuss the opportunities of bamboo in disaster risk reduction and carbon crediting.
The three-day exposition attended by local chief executives in the Northern Mindanao region aims to enhance the country’s resilience by raising awareness about disaster risk reduction as the Philippines ranks first out of 193 countries most at risk and vulnerable to natural hazards and climate change.
Solidum said there are three operational goals they want in order to enhance the country’s resilience which are reduce the possible impact before the hazard occurs, develop an effective and efficient response based on preparedness, and have a timely and effective recovery.
“So, if we actually do the first and the second, then we will recover very fast because you’ve reduced the impact. So, your problem would lessen. That’s the real target,” he said.
GOVERNMENT officials answer questions from the media during the HANDA Pilipinas: Innovations in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Exposition 2023 (Mindanao leg) press conference in Cagayan de Oro City on Wednesday, October 4. (Franck Dick Rosete)
Mayor Stephen Tan of Manticao, Misamis Oriental said they always intensify their information and education campaign in the community, especially for those living in the disaster-prone areas.
“We utilize our Preparedness Fund properly. We capacitate our response team, and we are planning to organize an inclusive first responders’ team by including our community in the team of LGU responders,” Tan added.
The Department of Science and Technology said the Mindanao leg of the exposition will be followed by the Visayas leg from November 8 to 10 during the 10th anniversary of super typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan). The Luzon leg was conducted from July 27 to 30.