BANGED, Abra – Some 102 members of the DENR-CAR Bantay Gubat became beneficiaries of livelihood skills training under the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn Program (PAMANA), the national peace and development framework for areas challenged by armed conflict.
Threading the genuine and concrete path of reconciliation, the DENR-CAR, in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) initiated a bamboo furniture making training-workshop to provide alternative livelihood to the beneficiaries of the PAMANA Program.
The said event was held at the Social Development Center, (SODEC) in Galicia Farm, Pidigan, Abra from July 10-28, 2017. The training was staged in Abra because bamboo sits as the major industry of the province.
Participants were clustered into 3 smaller groups that assured a more guided hands-on skills training. The said participants engaged in activities on the basics of bamboo furniture making, focusing on jointing and binding techniques together with the proper use of appropriate set of tools.
Further, the would-be entrepreneurs were given special sessions on raw material preparation that involved pole selection, bamboo harvesting techniques, hauling techniques and proper measuring and cutting.
Other essential skills in the trade were also developed as they were engrossed in mastering bamboo scrapping techniques, treatment, drying, splitting, holing, assembly, grinding, shaving, polishing and finishing.
The employment of local bamboo for furniture is encouraged by the DENR-CAR as its abundance in the region stimulates the local economy. It also reduces the community’s dependence on the natural forest’s timber resources.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) oversees the PAMANA. By virtue of Joint DENR-OPAPP Memorandum Circular No. 2013-02, the DENR-CAR has accommodated former rebel combatants from the disbanded Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA). The rebel returnees are contracted by the DENR-CAR as Bantay Gubat or Forest Guards to be reintegrated and become productive members of the community.
By Alaska Turaray/Vanessa Isabel De Vera