Mahintana Foundation, Inc. conducted a random interview with select Crossing Palkan-based bamboo crafters in line with MFI’s plan to pursue bamboo social enterprise projects through crafts-making and bamboo-based housing on June 13, 2020 at Prk. 4, Brgy. Crossing Palkan, Polomolok, South Cotabato.
The activity involved three (3) random bamboo craft makers namely, Mr. Ronelo Apitong, former Palkan barangay captain and proprietor of Joycylaine Bamboo Crafts, Mr. Angelo Bañas and Ms. Lilibeth Bañas of Bañas Bamboo Crafts. The discussions were focused on the supply of bamboo resources, buying price of bamboo poles, products offered, trainings involvement (government and private sponsored), and machineries used for the production. The bamboo crafters shared that they underwent basic to intensive trainings organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) and other private institutions. Trainings involve small crafts/novelty items (spoon, fork, straw, lampshades, shelves, sala sets, chandeliers), bamboo preservation methods, and etc. They have also participated benchmarking activities with other bamboo craft shops in the Philippines to learn their best practices. However, due to lack of machineries, market, and skilled workers the small crafts-making did not materialize which subsequently forced crafters to opt for products such as huts and sala sets that has a more established market.