For 10 years now, the furniture products of Dahile Bamboo Workers’ Association (DABAWA) in Brgy. Dahile, Mabinay, Negros Oriental have been producing sala sets and lounge chairs in basic designs. To help improve and expand their product line, the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) conducted a training on furniture and handicraft making last month through the invitation of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)- Region 7 and the local government of Dumaguete City.
“Male participants were taught how to assemble furniture pieces such as bed, center table, sofas and lounge chairs using improved designs. The female attendees, meanwhile, were trained on making bamboo novelty items,” said Zenaida R. Reyes, FPRDI Training Coordinator.
Meanwhile, participants learned about bamboo treatment and seasoning, product development and finishing techniques, among others, from the lecture of Engr. Victor G. Revilleza, senior science research specialist at FPRDI’s Technology Innovation Division (TID).
“Before the training, the craftsmen used nails to fasten bamboo slats. This technique usually makes the slats prone to cracking. Though the training, the craftsmen learned to use cord instead to strengthen the furniture,” added Reyes.
Participants working on a bamboo sofa.
Mr. Eduardo M. Atienza (in black) of the Technology Innovation Division demonstrates basic finishing techniques to the participants.
Some bamboo pieces assembled by the participants.
The training course was attended by 44 participants and was part of DOST VII’s Program on Poverty Alleviation in Central Visayas, particularly in the Municipality of Mabinay. Talks are now brewing for a follow-up training course on bamboo pole treatment and drying.
Negros Oriental currently hosts the biggest bamboo nursery in the Philippines and is being developed by the Philippine Bamboo Foundation, Inc. as the country’s “center of bamboo propagation and development.” ###