Tuesday, January 05, 2010

FITS Maasin stages bamboo field day anew

By Niño Manaog
Regional Applied Communications

For the second time in 2009, the Farmers Information and Technology Service (FITS) or Techno Pinoy Center in Maasin, Iloilo hosted a Bamboo Science and Technology-Based Farm Field Day on December 10, 2009 at the Maasin Covered Gym in Poblacion, Maasin, Iloilo.

The bamboo field day featured the bamboo technology and products of prospective Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) German Allesa of barangay Bolo in Maasin, Iloilo.

The significant assistance extended to Allesa’s bamboo technology forms part of a project led by the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD).

Dubbed the “Package of FPRDI S&T Interventions for the Bamboo-based Industry,” the project since March 2008 has extended technical, market and logistics assistance to German Allesa of Maasin, Iloilo and Virgilio Laudencia of San Fernando, La Union.

(Clockwise from top left) An LGU Maasin employee lounges away her time on the bamboo beach chair produced by German Allesa as assisted by FPRDI; German Allesa (right) and subcontractor Jovic Maido promote their bamboo product; a big number of Maasin farmfolk attend the bamboo products and technology exposition; FPRDI’s Dr. Cieltio Siladan orients participants on the bamboo assistance project; and FITS Maasin Manager Luzvisminda Casio expresses gratitude to the sponsors of the project.

According to Dr. Ma. Cielito G. Siladan, project coordinator, the project seeks “to help these two businessmen increase their shops’ productivity and expand their product lines.” The FPRDI took pride in having taught Allesa and his fellow producers how to make folding beach chairs which could sell well in beach resorts. FPRDI also enjoined the bamboo producers to develop new products from their bamboo processing wastes.

As part of the support, Allesa was awarded a set of bamboo processing tools and equipment composed of air compressor, power drill, bamboo splitter, bamboo thicknesser, bamboo sizer and imported hole saws of several sizes.

According to Siladan, FPRDI sees that the project’s impact will go beyond helping the two bamboo processors, as the improved bamboo technology will eventually “showcase the many benefits that come from the optimal use of bamboo.”

Based on an FPRDI website report, local government leaders in Maasin, Iloilo have already taken notice of the shops’ progress and have committed to give full support to their local bamboo-based producers. Allesa’s bamboo products are available at the FITS Center in Poblacion Maasin, Iloilo.

Gracing the occasion and expressing full support of the bamboo initiative were Board Member Mariano Malones Sr. of the Province of Iloilo; Maasin Mayor Mariano Malones, Jr.; a number of Sangguniang Bayan members of Maasin; Regional Applied Communications Staff Niño Manaog who represented WESVARRDEC Director Joseph Edward Idemne; and Forestry and Environment Research Division Director Romulo Aggangan who represented PCARRD.

Leading the bamboo field day was FITS Maasin Manager Luzvisminda Casio who has been active in WESVARRDEC’s programs activities even as it banners bamboo as one of its priority commodities. According to Casio, the FITS center has long been anticipating the favorable feedback for their efforts not only for their municipality but also for the consortium.

In late June 2009, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Office 6 and WESVARRDEC co-hosted the Bamboo Field Day in Maasin, Iloilo featuring the bamboo products and technology of MS Norberto Ceballos. Consequently, Ceballos’s bamboo products were featured in regional and national exhibits within the same year.

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