Home Agriculture PBBM’s agriculture appointee a bamboo advocate pushing for economic development, poverty reduction

PBBM’s agriculture appointee a bamboo advocate pushing for economic development, poverty reduction

by Admin-Phmp

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. has appointed former Representative Deogracias Victor Barbers Savellano as Department of Agriculture (DA) undersecretary, recognizing his contribution to economic development and poverty reduction – being an advocate of bamboo industrialization.

A former governor of Ilocos Sur, Savellano was deputy speaker of the House of Representatives during the 18th Congress.

As a bamboo advocate all his life, he has authored House Bill 9576 or the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Act.

He has sustained his passion to push for bamboo as a tool for Philippines’ industrialization through his current work as vice chairperson at the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) just before the DA appointment.

In his own home province in Ilocos Sur, Savellano has inspired communities to put up a Bamboo Park in each barangay.

This fostered collaboration, skills coaching, and product development involving every age in the community—oldest to youngest—imparting how bamboo is traditionally used for different purposes passed on from a generation to another. This also egged up creation of emerging, innovative bamboo products.

Savellano’s vision is to see Philippines begin eating up a significant share of the global bamboo market which is expected to grow to $92.62 billion by 2027 (United Nations Comtrade). This is from $66.22 billion in 2022 and $71.63 billion in 2023.

Philippine Bamboo Foundation Ed Manda praised PBBM’s appointment of Savellano as DA secretary.

“Congressman DV’s appointment will further boost efforts of stakeholders to fast track development of the emerging bamboo industry,” Manda said.

The development of bamboo industry will address or aid in many serious concerns in the Philippines. These include emission of pollutant, greenhouse gases, environmental and land degradation, soil erosion, landslides, typhoon surge, and flooding. Bamboo is a cost-effective, lower-budget approach—being a grass abundantly growing nationwide and needs modest maintenance.

Bamboo can catapult to industrial status many simple industries including building and house construction, renewable energy, biomass, cooking fuelwood, furniture, fiber and textile, and lumber from a highly-durable yet beautiful material to substitute for hardwood. It will generate millions of jobs in rural areas and ancestral lands tended by Indigenous People and bring in needed dollar reserve.

Savellano co-founded and was president of the National Movement of Young Legislators with which he is continuing to partner for bamboo propagation all over the country.

As a businessman, he was chairman of the Ilocos Sur Hotels, Restaurants and Related Enterprise and of the Ilocos Sur Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has been running his own fine dining restaurants in Ilocos Sur and Quezon City that have popularized to the city the unique heritage of Ilocano cooking.

He founded Kilusang 5K (Kawayan: Kalikasan, Kaunlaran, Kabuhayan, Kinabukasan) Foundation Inc. Kilusang 5K, together with Rotary International, has put up a 30-hectare pilot bamboo farm (propagation, nursery) in Karugo and Puray, Montalban, Rizal to demonstrate the economic and environmental value of growing bamboo. Kilusang 5K will also participate in a long term 20,000-hectare bamboo propagation in the Marikina Watershed as part of fighting perennial flooding and landslides in the area.

Savellano received in 2009 a Hall of Fame Award for the Best LGU Poverty Reduction program He is also a recipient of a CROWN Award in Nutrition for being a consistent regional outstanding winner in Nutrition National Nutrition Council.

He is an immediate past president of the UP Manila College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Society, UP Manila Alumni Association, currently board of director, UP Alumni Association, and president, Rotary Club of Quezon City Circle.

Savellano finished AB Economics at the University of the Philippines Manila and Master in International Business Administration at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California USA. (PR)

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