by Mary Rose B. Manlangit
To support the need of tables and chairs of public schools and to provide livelihood for the local communities, the Forest Products Research and Development Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FPRDI-DOST) developed a bamboo flattening machine. The machine was featured during the Syen Saya ‘12 science exhibit held July 18-20, 2012 at Baker Hall, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
Come October 2012, FPRDI will be organizing a stakeholders meeting for different government agencies and for future investors to present the agency’s projects and on-going researches. The stakeholders meeting is part of FPRDI’s celebration of their 55th year of committed service.
In an interview with FPRDI Public Assistance Coordinator Ronelia O. Lalap, she said that the bamboo flattening machine was a project devised to modify the traditional flattening method of bamboo woods on making wood furniture. “With the use of the machine, bamboo flattening will be a lot easier and less time consuming”, she said.
The said machine was developed by Engr. Dante Pulmano with his co-researchers from DOST, funded by the DOST-TECHNICOM and monitored by the Philippine Council for Industrial Energy Research and Development (PCIERD).
There is a continuing project developments in the different parts of the country where the bamboo propagation is abundant, spearheaded by the technical services division of FPRDI who train the interested investors of the project.
Lalap said that normally the Local Government Units (LGUs) are those who invest in the project as part of their education and livelihood programs on their respective provinces. “In Region I, particularly Alaminos, Pangasinan, we have trained the LGUs and the local farmers on how to use the bamboo flattening machine and now we have heard that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) have funded them to manufacture tables and chairs for public schools in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd)”, she explained.
The technical services division maintains high quality standards for the bamboo furniture production and they have set criteria to make the manufactured products be open for commercialization here and abroad.
The bamboo flattening machine is one of the numerous projects of the FPRDI being mandated to conduct research and development to transfer technology and to render technical assistance when it comes to non-wood and wood products utilization in the country.
Lalap added that the agency provides livelihood among the local people including the farmers, housewives and those who are incapable of earning money in order to initiate development among themselves and in their communities.