In keeping with the instruction of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu through the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) for the mining companies to establish and maintain a bamboo plantation which is equivalent to 10% of their mined-out areas, the Assistant Secretary for Finance, Information Systems and Mining Concerns, Engr. Nonita S. Caguioa, organized the Learning Event on the Establishment of Bamboo Plantation in Mining Areas in cooperation with the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) on March 11 and April 15-16, 2021. 

Representatives from mining companies all over the country and MGB Regional Offices participated in the activity.

In view of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the learning event was divided into two parts ― the first part was a virtual training and the second part was an actual field mentoring participated by a limited number of participants.

The first day of the learning event was a virtual training composed of 200 participants nationwide. Topics included in the discussions are as follows: (1) Importance of bamboo: (2) Use of bamboo for the rehabilitation of denuded areas, and (3) Basic course on bamboo propagation and plantation establishment.  These were discussed by ERDB employees, For. Romana Mauricio, For. Paul Cuadra, and Mr. Levi Lantican, respectively.

As a follow-through to the online learning, the Hands-on Training on Bamboo Planting Stock Propagation Techniques was organized per region.  For Region XIII, the training was conducted at the ERDB Forest and Wetland Research Development and Extension Center (FWRDEC) on April 16, 2021 in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur. For. Enjie G. Pacillos-Cañete and Engr. Roland Joie G. Geli of DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. XIII took part in the field training along with 38 Reforestation Officers from Caraga mining companies. 

Asec. Nonita S. Caguioa has personally met those in the frontlines as she graced the event.  In her speech during the opening program, Asec. Caguioa emphasized that the hands-on training is intended for the mining companies to gain actual knowledge and skills on how to establish a bamboo plantation in mining areas and to make an action plan as they heed the call of the DENR Secretary to rehabilitate at least 10% of the mined-out areas with bamboos.

 The field training was facilitated by the FWRDEC technical experts For. Conrado B. Marquez, the Center Head; For. Rustom A. Aguilos and Ms. Sharon P. Alvez.  The participants were divided into four (4) groups and respectively given the assignment on what kind and part of the bamboo to propagate as shown in the table below:

GroupBamboo Propagation MethodBamboo species
Agusan del Norte and Agusan del SurBy rhizomesTiger bamboo
Dinagat IslandsBy nodesLaak
Surigao del NorteBy branchGiant Bamboo
Surigao del SurBy culmsBolo

The participants were able to perform the actual selection, collection and planting of the appropriate bamboo as they learned the different bamboo propagation techniques using culms, rhizomes, nodes and branch cuttings and applied silvicultural practices in the preparation of planting media.  The session ended with the participants having successfully planted their cuttings using the proper methods they have learned during the training.

During the closing program, one participant for each group was tasked to present their action plans. The following were the representative for each group:

Mr. Francisco FloresPhilsaga Mining CoporationAgusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur
Mr. Vernie ReyesALNOR NACS Construction and Development CorporationDinagat Islands
Atty. Axel Tumulak   Engr. Teodolito CabacheteSilangan Mindanao Mining Company, Inc.Claver Mineral Development CorporationSurigao del Norte
For. Marvin ArleguiCarrascal Nickel CorporationSurigao del Sur

Towards the end of the activity, Asec. Nonita S. Caguioa once again reminded the participants to apply and share what they have learned in the training.  She also expressed her appreciation to the ERDB for facilitating the participants’ learning and providing the technical assistance. Throughout the learning event, the ERDB and the participants ensured that health protocols were observed for the safety of everyone involved in the activity.

Senior Environmental Management Specialist

Engineer II

Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division