National Government/Office of the President

The Philippine National Bamboo Congress was held in Iligan City last 05-07 August 2009 and was participated in by 176 delegates coming from all over the country and this petition expresses the desire of 100% of the participants in their collective desire to help address the problems on climate change and massive poverty in the country.

It has been established during this congress that bamboo could be the best solution to address the two problems because of the natural properties of bamboo like:
1. It is the fastest growing plant in the planet.
2. It is more highly sustainable compared to trees.
3. It is the best substitute for wood.
4. It has lots of uses like food, construction material, clothing, charcoal, source of many chemicals, and it is the best source of bio-fuel/oil/diesel.
5. It is the best for carbon sequestration as it absorbs 35% more carbon dioxide and also emits 35% more oxygen compared to trees. It is noteworthy that if only the world will go into massive bamboo planting, the problem on climate change will be solved in only a span of 6 years.
6. Income from bamboo farming is 4 times more than that of rice farming.
7. It has one of the best industry potential. China's income from bamboo last year was US$15 billion.

Nobody will go into bamboo farming, however, considering their sad experience in tree farming. After waiting for 10 long years for the trees he planted in his own titled private farm to be ready for harvest, it is only then that he finds out that he could not harvest, transport and sell freely his crops as he will be required to apply for permits to cut and transport from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Add to that the many inconveniences along the way like check (cash) points that will ask for money and if he will have to ship his logs via sea freight, he will also have to contend with the Customs which will be another extortion point. Thus, that became the first and last attempt at tree farming. Sadly, the same hostile parameters also apply to bamboo farming.

This is utterly wrong as tree and bamboo farming are supposed to be agricultural activities and that since they are planted, they should not be considered as natural resources. These then should not be under the jurisdiction of the DENR but should be under the Department of Agriculture (DA). That is just why it is call tree "farming" or agro-forestry (agro for agriculture). This is the way tree farming is done in the U.S.A. and other countries.

And since they are planted in private lands, they should be considered as private property and it will then follow that the tree/bamboo farmer need not get any permit to dispose of his private property as guaranteed in the constitution as embodied in the following:
1. Jus fruendi - Right to the yield of plants or soil.
2. Jus dispondi - Right to dispose of a thing.
3. Jus rerum - Right of things.
4. Jus jabendi - Right to have and enjoy a thing.
5. Jus habendi - Right to property, title. Right of a person in a thing that belongs to him. This is a complete and full right.

We, the undersigned, therefore, urgently call upon the Philippine government through the Office of the President to undertake immediate changes, measures, and steps that will redound to the evolution of friendly and conducive policies, programs, incentive schemes and other forms of strategies in order to motivate people to go into massive bamboo and tree farming in order to significantly help address the problems brought about by climate change and to reduce poverty in our country, the Philippines.

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