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Philippines

Bayani S. Neri
Chief, Forest Economics Division
Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Introduction
NWFPs and their uses
Contribution of NWFPs to the national economy
Collection and processing
Future directions and prospects
Summary and conclusion
References

Introduction

In the Philippines, non-wood forest products (NWFPs) are classified and referred to as "minor forest products." The Revised Forestry License Regulations of 1970 define minor forest products as "all other forest products except timber, pulpwood and chipwood." Based on this definition, minor forest products, or NWFPs, include firewood, charcoal, rattan, bamboo, daluru, bark, resin, gum, wood oil, beeswax, nipa, burl, fibre, dyewood, vine, flowering plants, ferns, orchids and other forest growth.

NWFPs are used as the raw material of furniture and in cottage industries manufacturing pulp, paper, plastic, paint and varnish, soap and shampoo, and for landscaping and interior decor. They are also important sources of materials for low-cost housing, food and beverages, clothing materials, medicine and other products, especially in the rural areas. The gathering and utilization of these products provide marginal farmers and people living in the uplands with additional income.

Lately, NWFPs have been given more attention as sources of foreign exchange and employment opportunities following recent developments depressing the country's wood-based industry sector. The banning of logging operations in certain areas of the country has displaced workers of several logging companies.

The total ban on log exports, which started in 1987 and was followed by the restriction of lumber exports in 1989, has resulted in the declining importance of the forestry sector to the country's economy. While the forestry sector's share of the Gross National Product in 1973, when wood products were a major export commodity, was 3.93 percent, this gradually dropped to 1.1 percent in 1990. A further drop in the forestry sector's contribution is expected if a proposal bill banning commercial logging comes into effect.

This report covers only some of the more important NWFPs that are being gathered, traded and utilized in the Philippines.

NWFPs and their uses

Among the more economically important NWFPs are:

Palms

The palm family is well represented in the Philippines. There are 123 indigenous species plus other introduced palms classified as either "climbing" (rattan) or "erect."

Climbing palms

Rattan is the most important forest product in the country after timber. Rattan in the Philippines is represented by 62 species, of which 12 are of commercial value. They are: palasan (Calamus merrillii); limuran (C. ornatus var. philippinensis); tumalim (C. mindorensis); sika (C. caesius); panlis (C. ramulosus); malacca cane (C. scipionum); lambutan (C. halconensis); apas or lukuan (C. revesianus); kurakling (C. microsphaerion); tagiktik (C. filispadix); ditaan (Daemonorops milks); and D. pedicellaris.

The nationwide forest resources inventory conducted by the Forest Management Bureau with the assistance of the German government disclosed that in 1988 the country's rattan resources totalled 4.57 billion linear meters. Palasan (C. merrillii), which is the species preferred by most furniture manufacturers, accounts for 1.38 billion linear meters or 30 percent of the total available rattan poles. Limuran, which is also a preferred species, accounts for 1.14 billion linear meters or 25 percent of the total, followed by tumalim with 583 million (13 percent); apes, 518 million (11 percent); tandulan gubat, 410 million (9 percent); ditaan, 232 million (5 percent); sika (C. caesius), 76 million (2 percent) sumulid (D. orchrolepis) 75 million (2 percent) and other species, 160 million (3 percent) (Table 1).

Rattan poles are in great demand for furniture manufacturing. They also provide the raw material for handicrafts and for the manufacture of baskets, picture frames, hampers, handbags, hats, and novelty items for domestic consumption and export. Rattan poles and splits are also used to make fish traps and as tying materials. The shoots of rattan are eaten as a vegetable and the fruit is edible.

Erect palms

There are several species of erect palms in Philippine forests. The more important economic species are burl (Corypha elata), nipa (Nipa fruticans) anahaw (Livistonia roundifolia) and kaong or sugar palm (Arenga pinnata).

Nipa (Nipa fruiticana) - In economic value, nipa is one of the most important erect palms in the country, second only to coconut. The species thrives well along tidal flats and brackish swamps.

Its pinnate leaves, about 7 meters in length, are used to make shingles for roofing and walls of low-cost houses. Other uses are for making hats, mats, bags and baskets. The mid-ribs are made into brooms and the petioles are used as fuel.

The sap of nipa is used in making alcohol and vinegar. The fermented juice is a popular local drink.

Buri (Corypha elata) - This is the largest palm species in the country, with trunks attaining a diameter of 1 meter and a height of 20 meters. The trunk yields large quantities of food material in the form of starch. Wine, alcohol, vinegar, syrup and sugar can be produced from the sap. The kernel of young fruit is made into sweets, while the buds are used for salad or as a vegetable.

The large petioles of burl yield a fibre locally known as "buntal," which is used in the manufacture of the famous "buntal" hat. The mature leaves are used for thatching houses, while the immature, unopened ones are used in making ropes, mats, bags and other fancy articles. The mid-ribs of the immature leaves are also the source of fiber used in making the so-called "Calasiao" hat named after the, hat place where it is produced. The mid-ribs of mature leaves are used in the manufacture of light furniture (tables, chains, dividers), baskets, hampers and wall decorations. Buri palms are widely distributed in the Philippines, mostly at low elevations. The nationwide forest inventory disclosed that only 198,000 burl palms remain in the country's dipterocarp forests (Table 2), but substantial numbers grow in rural backyards and fields.

Anahaw (Livistonia roundifolia) - Anahaw grows naturally in the forest and is widely distributed throughout the archipelago. An estimated 39 million anahaw palms remain (Table 2).

Anahaw, like burl and other erect palms, has may uses. Its trunk, which grows to a height of 20 meters and a diameter of 20 centimeters, is used widely for fishpens. The wood of the trunk is used as pillars and floors for houses in the rural areas, and is an excellent material for making bows, spear shafts and canes.

The leaves of anahaw palms are used for thatching houses and making hats and fans. The buds are eaten as a vegetable. Anahaw is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Kaong (Arenga pinnate or sugar palm) - This species is widely distributed throughout the country. It thrives along stream banks at low to middle altitudes. The country's dipterocarp forests are estimated to contain some 4.67 million sugar palms (Table 2).

Sugar palm grows to 15 meters, with a diameter of 40 centimeters. Its pinnate leaves reach 8.5 centimeters in length with linear leaflets of up to 1.5 meters long. It bears numerous crowded, green nuts which turn yellow when mature. The fruits are about 5 centimeters in diameter and contain two or three seeds.

The leaves of the sugar palm provide low-cost materials for roofs and walls of houses. The mid-ribs of the leaflets are used in making brooms and baskets.

The seeds of immature nuts are made into sweets and the buds are cooked as vegetables.

Sugar palm is also the source of a stiff, tough black fibre locally known as "cabonegro" (gomuti). The fibre, which is produced at the base of the petioles, is used to make rope and thatching for houses. Rope made from this fibre is durable and is ideal for marine use. The stiff fibers are also used for making various types of brushes.

Starch can be extracted from sugar palm trunks. Each tree can yield 50 to 75 kilograms of starch.

Sap, extracted from the cut in florescent stalk, is used in the production of sugar, wine, vinegar and alcohol. Production ranges from 10 to 12 liters of sap per tree per day for 2 1/2 months.

Bamboo

There are around 32 species of bamboo in the Philippines, of which 19 species are erect.

Table 1. Rattan Resources in Philippine Dipterocarp Forests

Species

<2 cm diam (1000 linear m)

Percent

>2 cm diam (1000 linear m)

Percent

Total

Percent

Apas
(Calamus reyesianus)

460,166

16.06

57,780

3.39

517,946

11,33

Ditaan
(Daemonorops mollis)

199,062

6.95

32.935

1.93

231,997

5.07

Limuran
(Calamus ornatus)

550,179

19.20

591,389

34.65

1,141,568

24.97

Palasan
(Calamus merrillii)

645,220

22.52

730,641

42.81

1,375.861

30.09

Sika
(Calamus caesius)

68,590

2.39

7,903

0.46

76.493

1.67

Sumulid
(Daemonorops orchrolepis)

58,249

2.03

16,493

0.97

74,742

1.63

Tanduland-Gubat
(Calamus dimorphacanthus)

340,749

11.89

69,676

4.08

410,425

8,98

Tumalim
(Calamus mindorensis)

451,150

15,74

131,724

7.72

582,874

12.75

Others

92,286

3.22

68,271

4.00

160,557

3.51

Total

2,865,651

100,00

1,706,812

100.00

4,572,463

100.00

Source: National Forest Resources Inventory Project

The commercially important bamboo species in the country are:

· Kauayan tinik, or spiny bamboo (Bambusa blumeana)
· Kauayan kiling (Bambusa vulgaris)
· Bayog (Dendrocalamus merrillianus)
· Bolo (Gigantochloa levis)
· Buho (Schizostachyum lumampao)

Among the five species, spiny bamboo and kauayan kiling are the preferred species for building, furniture making and boat outriggers. Bayog is used for tying and making ropes.

Bamboo is found growing in settled areas where it is planted or grown in plantations and in the forest where it grows from low altitudes to as high as 2,600 meters in the mountain provinces of northern Luzon. So far, there is no information on bamboo in settled areas. The recently concluded national forest inventory placed the country's bamboo in forested land at 10.73 billion stems, although most of these are non-commercial species (Table 3).

Pandans

There are more than 40 species of pandan in the Philippines. They are widely distributed throughout the archipelago with some species growing along sandy beaches and others in virgin forests. They vary in size depending on the species, from less than 1 meter to 15 meters in height.

Among the more important pandan species in the country are bariu (Pandanus copelandii), taboan (P. dubius), alasas (P. luzonensis), oyango (P. radicans), sabutan (P. sabotan) karagomoi (P. simplex.) common or beach pandan (P. tectorius), and pandan layugan (P. exaltatus).

The economic value of pandans is in the leaves, which are used for making coarse and fine baskets, bags, hats, mats, picture frames and other fancy articles. Recently, the Philippine Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) has developed cocoon frames for silkworm production out of pandan leaves. The wood of some pandan species is also being manufactured into splints used in making baskets.

It is estimated that there are 58.88 billion stems of pandans in the country's forests (Table 4).

Resin

Resins commonly collected for commercial and industrial purposes in the Philippines are produced from almaciga (Agathis philippinensis) Benguet pine (Pinus kesiya), piling liitan (Canarium luzonicum) and apitong (Dipterocarpus grandiflorus).

Almaciga (Agathis philippinensis) is the source of a resin which is popularly known as "Manila copal." Manila copal is used as incense, for caulking boats, as a smudge for mosquitoes, for torches, in varnish manufacturing, sizing paper and other industrial uses. At present, almost all almaciga resin produced in the country is being exported.

Almaciga is one of the protected tree species in the Philippines and felling it is prohibited.

Table 2. Erect Palm Resources in Philippine Dipterocarp Forests

Species

<2 cm diam. (1,000 stems)

Percent

>2 cm diam. (1,000 stems)

Percent

Total (1,000 stems)

Percent

Anahaw
(Livistonia rotundifolia)

6,008

1.67

33,351

6.16

39,359

4.37

Buri
(Corypha elata)

47

0.01

151

0.03

198

0.02

Kaong/Sugar Palm
(Arenga pinnata)

518

0.14

4,153

0.77

4,671

0.52

Others

353,146

98.17

503,467

93.04

856,613

95.09

Total

359,719

100.00

541,122

100.00

900,841

100.00

Source: National Forest Resources Inventory Project

Table 3. Bamboo Resources in Philippine Dipterocarp Forests

Species

<2 cm diam. (1,000 stems)

Percent

>2 cm diam. (1,000 stems)

Percent

Total (1,000 stems)

Percent

Anos

132,197

2.05

85,337

1.99

217,534

2.03

Bayog

2,406

0.04

3,10

0.07

5,513

0.05

Bikal

3,799,632

58.99

2,257,805

52.64

6,057,437

56.45

Bikal Baboi

1,754,248

27.24

504,475

11.76

2,258,723

21.05

Bocaue

1,903

0.03

0

1,903

0.02

Bolo

7,014

0.11

0

7,014

0,07

Buho

721,535

11.2

1,341,872

31.28

2,063,407

19.23

Kawayan Kiling

11,952

0.19

70,387

1.64

82,339

0.77

Others

9,922

0.15

26,261

0.61

36,183

0,34


6,440,809

100.00

4,289,244

100.00

10,730,053

100.00

Source: National Forest Resources Inventory Project

Table 4. Pandan Resources in Philippines Dipterocarp Forests

Species

<2 cm diam. (1,000 stems)

Percent

>2 cm diam. (1,000 stems)

Percent

Total

Percent

Pandan
(Pandanus sp.)

12,278

80.49

36,513

83.71

48,791

82.87

Pandan-Layugan
(Pandanus exaltus)

1,359

8.91

2,160

4.95

3,519

5.98

Mottled Pandan
(Pannus veitchii)

1,617

10.60

4,948

11.34

6,565

11.15

Total

15,254

100.00

43,621

100.00

58,875

100.00

Source: National Forest. Resources Inventory Project

It is well distributed throughout the archipelago. The national forest resources inventory estimated the stock of almaciga, as of 1988, at 2.5 million cubic meters.

Benguet pine, (Pinus kesiya) which is the source of oleo resin used in the production of turpentine, grows naturally only in the Cordillera mountains in northern Luzon at altitudes from 500 to 2,500 meters. The species, has been successfully grown in plantations in various parts of the country, however. Extensive plantations of Benguet pine are found in the province of Bukidnon in central Mindanao. As of 1990, the country's pine forest is estimated at 236,400 hectares of which 128,300 hectares are closed canopy forest and 108,100 hectares are considered to be open canopy-forest.

Manila elemi is produced from piling liitan (Canarium luzonicum) and pill (C. ovatum) of the family Burseraceae. The resin extracted from these tree species is used to manufacture varnish, medicinal ointments, transparent paper, caulking compound and as torch fuel. Piling liitan grows in the wild, while pill is being cultivated in plantations or backyards more for its nuts than resin.

Balau resin is obtained from the trunk of apitong (Dipterocarpus grandiflorus) and other species of the genus Dipterocarpus. Like the other resins, balau is used to make varnish, caulking compound, and fuel for torches. Oil has also been extracted by Filipino scientists through water distillation from balau resin and found to be a good substitute for diesel fuel. Oil yield is around 38 to 40 percent.

Oil

Lumbang (Aleurites moluccana) and bagilumbang (A. trisperma) are two important seed oil-producing tree species in the Philippines. Both species grow naturally in forest areas in various parts of the country. These species have also been grown in plantations although the extent of these plantations is not known. One forest concessionaire in Mindanao, the Nasipit Lumber Company, has extensive plantations of lumbang.

Oil produced from the nuts of these tree species is a good substitute for tuna oil. Bagilumbang oil resembles tuna oil more closely than does lumbang oil. Although lumbang oil is slightly inferior to tuna oil, both are superior to linseed oil.

Lumbang and bagilumbang oils are used for the preparation of paints, varnishes and linoleum, soap manufacture, wood preservation, and lighting.

Vines

Diliman (Stenochlaena palustris) nito (Lygodium spp.), lukmoy (Pothos spp.), and baling-use (Flagellaria indica) are some of the more important climbers in the Philippines. These climbers thrive well in both virgin and logged-over forest, and in bush and open areas. They are widely distributed throughout the archipelago.

Diliman is a species of fern with stems from 2 to 4 meters in length. It is used chiefly as tying material in the preparation of fish traps because of its durability in salt water. It is also used for making ropes and baskets.

Nito is the name used for different species of Lygodium, although the most common and widely used species in the country is Lygodium circinnatum. It is used in the manufacture of baskets, hats, bags and other fancy articles.

Pothos are climbers which produce numerous, long tough, aerial roots of uniform diameter. The central cylinders of these roots are used in baskets.

Baling-uai is a vine with a slender stem. It is for tying, in sewing nipa shingles and in making baskets.

Medicinal plants

Medicinal plants are important elements of tropical forests. These plants can be herbs, vines, shrubs or trees from which medicine can be extracted from the roots, wood, bark, leaves, seeds, flowers or fruit to heal specific illnesses and diseases. These medicinal plants are very popular in the rural areas because of the high cost of modern drugs. Most of these plants are available in rural areas and knowledge of their healing powers is passed on from one generation to another. Some of these medicinal plants are:

Cinchona (Cinchona ledgeriana) is not native to the Philippines. The first cinchona plantation was established by the Bureau of Forestry (now Forest Management Bureau) in 1926 in Bukidnon Province. At present there are some 248 hectares of cinchona plantations consisting of 5 species and 2 varieties.

Cinchona is a medium-sized tree that grows to a diameter of 60 centimeters and a height of 25 meters. It is a source of quinine used for malaria and quindine for treating fibrillation and certain disorders of heart rhythm. Quinine, which is sensitive to light, is also used in the manufacture of photographic film.

Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa) is a medium-size tree, usually found in secondary forests at low to middle altitudes in the Philippines. A decoction of its bark and leaves is used to cure fever, diabetes, diarrhea, and as a diuretic and a purgative. It is also grown as a shade and ornamental tree in town plazas, school grounds and along roads and highways.

Dita (Alstonia scholaris) is a medium-sized tree belonging to the Apocynaceae family. It is found in primary and secondary forests at low to middle altitudes. A decoction of the bark is a febrifuge (remedy for fever), anticholeric if used for chronic diarrhea and dysentery, an anthelmintic (expels intestinal worms), for diabetes and for coughs. The latex and powdered leaves are used as a poultice on boils, ulcers and rheumatic pains. A decoction of young leaves is also used to cure beri-beri.

Kalingag (Cinnamomum mercadoi) is a small tree endemic to the Philippines. It is widely distributed throughout the country and grows at low to middle altitudes. Plantations of the species have been established by the DENR in a few areas. The bark is used for flatulence, as an expectorant, and for curing headaches, stomach disorders, rheumatism and tuberculosis.

Pandakaki (Ervatamiap pandacaqui) is a shrub belonging to the Apocynaceae family and is commonly found in thickets at low altitudes. The leaves are used as an antiseptic and an anodyne on wounds. A decoction of the root and bark is used to cure certain afflictions of the stomach and intestines.

Nitong puti (Lygodium flexuosum) is a vine species of the family Schizaeaceae. Its roots and leaves are used to cure skin ailments such as ringworm. Infusion of the plant is used in the treatment of blennorrhagia.

Alagasi (Leucosyke capitellata) is a small tree of the family Urticaceae. Alagasi is widely distributed in the Philippines, often found growing in low to middle altitudes. A decoction of its roots is used as a cure for pulmonary tuberculosis, cough, headaches and gastralgia (pain in the stomach).

Bast Fibers

Several shrubs and tree species in the Philippines are sources of best fibers. The most important of these species is salago (Wikstroemia spp.).

Salago is a shrub that grows up to 3m high. It is found in thickets, in marginal lands as well as in primary and secondary forests at low to middle elevations. The species has been successfully grown in some of the DENR reforestation projects. There is no information on the extent of plantings of salago in the country.

Long and silky fibres can be extracted from the bark of salago which are excellent for the manufacture of high grade paper used in bank notes, paper money, checks, paper for legal documents and other specialty papers requiring strength and durability. The fibers are also used in ropemaking, fishing lines and nets, sacks, textiles, cords, bags, hats and novelty items.

Contribution of NWFPs to the national economy

As Raw Materials for Local Industries

Non-wood forest products are important sources of raw material for local industries. Prior to the 1960s, most of the non-wood forest products gathered from the country's forests were exported in their raw form. With the creation of the National Cottage Industries Development Authority (NACIDA) in 1962, the development of cottage industries has been encouraged. NACIDA-registered businesses are given various incentives such as subsidized loans, training and marketing assistance. Many of these firms utilize non-wood forest products as their raw material and cater mostly to domestic markets. A number of them are in the rural areas and produce rattan and bamboo furniture, baskets, handicrafts, and other items.

In addition to being used for construction, furniture and handicrafts, bamboo is used as props for the banana industry. With some 24,000 hectares of banana plantations, mostly in Davao Province millions of props are needed annually.

The country's upland fishing industry uses the trunks of anahaw and bamboo poles in the construction of fish pens, fish cages and other structures such as pathways and guardhouses. Demand for bamboo poles for boat outriggers is substantial.

A Philippine paper plant used bamboo as its raw material but recently was forced to switch to other raw material because of a shortage of bamboo.

A naval stores factory previously processed oleoresin from Benguet pine, but a lack of raw material forced the plant to close. In the late 1970s, the government stopped issuing permits to tap Benguet pine trees for oleoresin because of ips beetle (Ips callighrapus) infestations.

Source of Government Revenue

Non-wood forest products have provided the government with additional sources of revenue through forest charges. Currently, the forest charge on NWFPs is 10 percent of the market value. From 1981 to 1990, the average annual forest charges collected from NWFPs were 1,596,895 Philippine pesos (Table 5), or approximately US$ 63,000 at 1990 exchange rates. Although the amount is small compared with timber, NWFP revenues provide badly needed money to finance government development projects.

Table 5. Forest Charges on Non-Wood Forest Products: 1981-1990

Year

Amount (Philippine Pesos)

1990

1,162,327

1989

1,917,917

1988

2,782,175

1987

1,819,764

1986

1,299,326

1985

1,182,058

1984

2,607,865

1983

1,135,742

1982

1,883,767

1981

178,014

Total

15,968,955

Average

1,596,895

Source: 1990 Philippine Forestry Statistics

Employment Generation

Non-wood forest products have provided people living in or near forest lands, especially subsistence upland farmers and the unemployed or underemployed in the lowlands, with sources of income. Although there are no figures on how many people are involved in gathering NWFPs, the National Statistics Office disclose that for 57,341 families, or 0.58 percent of the country's 9,847,357 families, forestry and hunting was their main source of income in 1985. In 1988, however, this went down to 40,121 or 0.38 percent. With an average of 6 people per family, the number of people dependent on forestry and hunting was 344,046 in 1985 and 240,726 in 1988. Forestry activities, as defined in the survey, included tree planting, firewood gathering, small-scale logging, charcoal making and gathering of non-wood forest products, cogon, nipa, rattan, bamboo, resin and gum.

There is also a dearth of information on the number of people employed in the processing sector, possibly because many of the smaller processors and manufacturers are not registered with government agencies and do not submit reports. In the furniture industry alone, it is estimated that these are over 15,000 backyard manufacturers. Assuming that each manufacturer employs an average of 10 workers, the total workforce in these backyard-type operations is about 150,000.

There are some 250 medium-to-large rattan furniture factories in the country. Each of these factories employs 200 to 1,500 workers with a total estimated work force of about 100,000.

Source of Foreign Exchange

Non-wood forest products are exported either in raw form or as finished or semi-finished products. Resins (Manila copal and Manila elemi) have been the country's main raw NWFP exports. Almost all resins that are produced are exported because there are virtually no factories to process them into finished products. In 1981, 720,600 kilograms of resin with an FOB value of US$ 440,000 were exported. In 1990, resin exports rose to 899,234 kilograms valued at FOB US$ 1,275,644. Exports of salago bark have also earned an average of US$ 600,000 annually during the last 10 years. Other NWFPs exported in raw form include burl braids and raffia, bamboo, and rattan poles and splits. Exports of these products are small. Rattan poles and splits in limited quantities are being allowed to the United States in compliance with an agreement to provide replacement parts.

Exports of manufactured NWFPs have likewise been increasing during the last few years. Foremost of these are rattan furniture, bags and baskets of bamboo and rattan, and wicker work. Rattan furniture and chair exports rose from US$ 45.92 million in 1981 to US$ 121.31 million in 1990, with an average annual growth rate of 13.4 percent. Exports of bamboo furniture and chairs during the same period increased from US$ 960,000 to US$ 1.67 million, an annual growth rate of 9.8 percent. Exports of bags and baskets increased from US$ 18.57 million in 1981 to US$ 65.13 million in 1990. For basket-work and wicker-work, the value of exports rose from US$ 27.31 million 1981 to US$ 52.61 million in 1990. Other manufactured NWFP exports include burl and pandan placemats, handbags, wallets, purses and similar articles of palm and bamboo, buntal and burl hats. These manufactured articles contributed additional foreign exchange earnings of US$ 5,636,454 in 1990.

Collection and processing

Government Policies and Regulations

The extraction and gathering of non-wood forest products in forest lands is legally regulated by the government through the issuance of licenses or permits, but an undetermined quantity of NWFPs are extracted illegally.

Licensing Regulations

The Revised Forestry Licensing Regulations of September 1970 specify guidelines for the issuance of forestry licenses, leases or permits for the extraction of NWFPs. They also outline the responsibilities of forest products licensees, lessees or permittees. In granting licenses or permits, the sustained yield capacity of the forest area is of paramount importance. Thus, before granting a license or permit, a forest resource inventory is undertaken to determine the amount to be extracted.

Licenses are issued by the heads of regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. This is in line with government's policy to decentralize so field offices can respond easily to the needs of the people, especially in the rural areas. Permits, except for rattan, are good for one year.

Rattan Regulation

With rattan, different regulations apply to rationalize the development of the industry. The sharp increase in the demand for rattan poles for furniture manufacturing in the 1980s caused prices to rise to prohibitive levels because of the influx of middlemen.

These middlemen became the outlets of illegally cut rattan. In 1988, the Bureau of Forest Development (now Forest Management Bureau) issued an order to individual tribal people and cooperatives which have supply agreements with licensed processing plants. The order requires licensees to plant at least 10 rattan seedlings for every 100 linear meters harvested.

A DENR order, dated January 10, 1989, provides for the competitive bidding of areas identified as available for harvesting. To remove unfair advantage of the big operators over small-timers in bidding, separate areas are allocated for large and small entrepreneurs. Generally, the allocation of rattan production areas for public bidding is as follows:

· Fifty-five percent of the rattan production area of any region is to be allocated to small entrepreneurs with a paid up capitalization of 250,000 pesos.

· Forty-five percent to big entrepreneurs with paid up capital of more than 250,000 pesos.

In the case of rattan production areas within lands reserved for, or occupied by, tribal groups, priority is given to the tribal groups.

The eligible individual or group offering the highest bid wins the concession. The successful bid must be at least P0.46 per linear meter of rattan, which is on top of the normal forest charge of P0.75 per linear meter for large diameter rattan (>2 cm) and P0.03 per linear meter for small diameter rattan (<2 cm). In addition, the winning bidder has to post a deposit which will accrue to the rattan development fund. The fund is used to plant rattan seedlings to replenish and ensure sustainability of rattan.

The maximum area granted under a rattan cutting license to an individual is 5,000 hectares. For corporations, partnerships, associations, and cooperatives, the maximum area is 30,000 hectares.

The number of rattan cutting permits issued, and the allowable cut granted, has increased dramatically during the last 10 years. Sixty-nine permits, with an aggregate allowable cut of 14.74 million linear meters, were issued in 1981, rising to 279 permits, with a total allowable cut of 138.95 million linear meters, in 1990.

Tapping of gums and resins

For gums and resins, tapping guidelines have been prescribed. Almaciga resin tapping is allowed only in trees at least 60 centimeters in diameter. Tapping on the trunks of trees should not exceed three-fourths of the thickness of the bark, should in no case be more than 40 centimeters in length, and should always be at least 60 centimeters apart horizontally.

In tapping balau resin from dipterocarp species, incisions in the trunks of trees should not exceed in width one-fifth the circumference of the tree, nor more than one-fifth of the diameter. Incisions should be made at least 50 centimeters above the ground, and not past the first branch. Tapping is authorized only in trees at least 40 centimeters in diameter.

With Benguet pine, tapping of oleoresin is allowed only on trees that will be cut within five years and on trees at least 30 centimeters in diameter. The rules stipulate that for trees with a diameter below 40 centimeters, only one face of the tree should be chipped. For trees 40 centimeters and over in diameter at breast height, chipping may be done on two faces, but only one at a time, with a space of about 10 centimeters to be left between the faces. The width of each face should not exceed the diameter of the tree and the depth of the cut should not exceed 1.5 centimeters.

Regulations also prohibit the felling or unnecessary damaging of trees in the collection of resins, gums, gutta percha, wood oils and similar forest products. Violation of this rule could lead to the cancellation of the license and payment of a fine equal to four times the regular rate for timber.

Tanbark or dyebark collection

For tanbark or dyebark collection, the requirement is to leave an undamaged strip of bark at least one-third of the circumference of the tree, extending from the roots to the branches.

Forest charges

Holders of NWFPs licenses or permits are required to pay the forest charges prior to transport, disposition or processing. Forest officers assess the charges on the products' market value.

Transport of NWFPs

To monitor the movement of NWFPs from the forests to markets or processing plants, licensees are required to secure Certificates of Minor Forest Products Origin (CMFPO) from the local Community Environment and Natural Resources Office. The CMFPO contains the name of the licensee or permittee, the place where the forest products were cut or gathered, the consignee and destination, the quantity to be transported, the means of transport and date of transportation.

Forest products being transported but not covered by the required documents are considered illegally cut and can be confiscated. Also subject to confiscation are the conveyances used in this transport.

Production

Production figures presented in Table 6 include only the quantity of NWFPs legally cut, extracted or gathered from the forest under license. Therefore, they do not provide a true picture of the amount of NWFPs extracted. An Undetermined quantity, which may be even greater than the reported production, is unaccounted for each year. In the case of rattan, the average production during the last 10 years was only 26.7 million meters while manufacturers of rattan furniture for exports alone utilized from 120 to 150 million linear meters of rattan poles per year. In 1990, the total allowable cut granted to 279 rattan licenses was 138.95 million linear meters, but the reported production for that year was only 19.3 million linear meters.

From 1981 to 1990, no production of Manila elemi was reported, yet some 3 million kilograms were exported. During same period, some 852,000 kilograms of Almaciga resin were exported annually while the average yearly reported production was only 587,000 kilograms.

Table 6. Non-Wood Forest Products Legally Harvested in the Philippines: 1981-1990 (in thousands of units)

Year

Almaciga Resin (kg)

Anahaw leaves (pc)

Bamboo & Boho (pc)

Bun Midribs (kg)

Diliman Nito, Hingin & other vines (kg)

Honey (litre)

Nipa Shingles (pc)

Oleoresin (kg)

Split rattan (kg)

Unsplit rattan (lm)

Salago bark (kg)

Tanbark (kg)

Eleni (kg)

Lumbang nut (kg)

Nipa sap (litre)

1981

476

40

885

308

2

0.7

2,978

-

1,177

33,511

673

859

6

14-

2

1982

1,407

22

647

97

3

94.3

4,126

-

195

15,594

258

83

4

-

6

1983

462

96

410

57

10

1.1

3,166

-

73

24,244

83

52

5

-

0.3

1984

191

6

309

155

27

-

1,757

-

2.770

25,370

144

98

6

19

0-5

1985

380

31

644

48

50

1.4

2,675

-

72

19,437

47

53

75

-

1986

386

-

428

33

4

0.7

3,989

-

249

28,588

156

1,020

-

-

25

1987

485

2

402

5

27

0.3

3.579

16

98

33,902

2

33

-

-

4

1988

700

10

133

41

13

-

2.504

-

54

34,215

8

-

-

-

-

1989

472

16

204

88

157

0.6

5,298

-

30

33,254

2

-

-

-

-

1990

943

2

984

58

89

-

8,023

-

10

19,266

6

30

-

The large volume of unrecorded NWFPs is due to DENR's inability to monitor and supervise the operations of NWFPs licensees because of a shortage of personnel. Thus, even some of the NWFPs cut or gathered under license or permit are not reported, resulting in loss of forest revenue.

Under existing regulations, licensees are required to gather or extract the products themselves or to employ their own gatherers. As such, they are obligated to submit the names, addresses and residence certificates of their agents and employees to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) who has jurisdiction over the area.

Licensees are likewise required to inform the CENRO when their operations commence. This enables the CENRO to assign forest officers to monitor and supervise their operations.

In many instances, the gathering of NWFPs is done by members of cultural communities and other upland dwellers without the benefit of a license or permit issued by the DENR. Although members of cultural communities are given priority in the gathering of forest products in their locality or areas they claim to be part of their ancestral lands, many of them do not bother to apply for a license or permit. The forest products are then sold either to holders of forest products permits or middlemen. In turn, these permittees, or middlemen, either sell the products to local processors or manufacturers, or export them in raw form. In some instances, initial processing is done to increase the value of the product.

Middlemen play an important role. They have the necessary capital to finance handling, storage, and transport. Many NWFPs gatherers, with or without permits, do not have the means to sell their produce directly to processors or manufacturers, whose plants are mostly in the cities or far from the forest. On the other hand, some processors or manufacturers, especially the small ones, can not afford to put up buying stations in the hinterlands because of their limited capital. Therefore, the role of middlemen in bringing the raw materials from the producers to manufacturers has become indispensable to NWFP utilization in the Philippines.

Processing

While some NWFPs are being exported in raw forms, others are consumed by the gatherers themselves or sold to local processors or manufacturers. Most of the processors or manufacturers are cottage type or backyard level industries employing not more than 20 workers each. There are, however, around 250 medium to large firms which are primarily involved in the manufacture of rattan and bamboo furniture for export. Some of these firms have been granted forest concessions which provide them with an adequate and continuous supply of raw material. Others procure their raw materials from NWFP permittees or from middlemen. A few of them have already resorted to the importation of raw materials to sustain the operations of their manufacturing plants.

Problems confronting NWFP-based Industries

The development of NWFP-based industries is being hindered by several problems:

· Lack of raw material supply. This is a result of destructive extraction of forest products, slash and burn agriculture and conversion of forest to other uses. Illegal extraction or gathering has led to over-exploitation and fast depletion of NWFP resources. The government's in ability to stop illegal extraction and trade of NWFPs has compounded the problem.

· Inefficient extraction and processing technology. Inefficient technologies have resulted in considerable waste in the extraction and processing of NWFPs. For example, the cutting of immature rattan plants results in the production of low quality poles. Poor handling and storage techniques also result in fungal attack and the lowering of pole quality. In the case of resin and gums, excessive removal of bark in the process of tapping weakens the tree or causes it to die. These sorts of activities have contributed to the rapid depletion of NWFP resources.

· Lack of market information. The lack of market information has resulted in the very limited utilization of certain species of NWFPs. Thus, a situation arises wherein certain species of NWFPs are underutilized, while other species are being over-exploited. Of the country's bamboo resource, for example, around 77.5 percent is composed of climbing species (bikal and bikal-baboi), which are presently considered as non-commercial species. These species are, however, potential raw material for pulp and paper manufacture. In the case of rattan, the large diameter poles are currently in demand for furniture manufacture. So, there is the tendency to overcut the large diameter species while those of smaller diameter are under-utilized.

· Lack of capital to finance NWFP plantation development. Although the government has provided several incentives to encourage NWFP plantation development, the lack of capital has been a mayor deterrent for private sector participation. This is aggravated by the long-term gestation and the high risk involved in forest plantation development.

Future directions and prospects

The Philippine Master Plan for Forest Development (MPFD), prepared by the DENR with the assistance of the Government of Finland and the Asian Development Bank, provides for a national program on non-wood forest products. The program aims "to develop and bring under sustainable management these various resources for economic and ecological benefits of the greatest number of Filipino people." Specifically, the program seeks to achieve the following objectives:

· To provide adequate supply of raw materials to various end-users and the industries while at the same time conserving the resources;

· To promote equitable access to opportunities in the utilization of the resources;

· To promote economic development in the rural areas; and

· To institutionalize the development of the resources.

The program, however, covers only rattan, bamboo, resins, gums and essential oils, and medicinal plants.

To achieve these objectives, the program has outlined a strategy for ensuring the continuous supply and conservation of the resources. This is to be achieved through sustainable management of resources, the utilization of non-commercial species, improved harvesting and utilization technologies, plantation development and strict implementation of existing regulations.

Over-exploitation and the conversion of forest to other uses have brought about the rapid depletion of the country's forest resources, including non-wood forest products. There is a need to manage NWFPs on a sustained yield basis to ensure an adequate and continuous supply of raw materials. The ban on logging of primary forests, as of January 1992, is expected to contribute to conservation of the NWFPs, for a substantial quantity of these valuable resources are destroyed during logging operations.

Many species of NWFPs are not being utilized at present. The country's NWFP program seeks to promote the commercial utilization of these species. This is expected to ease the pressure on species which are in great demand and at the same time expand the resource base of local industries.

Inefficient harvesting, handling and storage have also contributed to the fast depletion of NWFPs. To ensure sustainability, the program seeks to minimize waste.

To ensure a sustainable supply of NWFPs, the program encourages the establishment of plantations. Currently, the government, through the DENR, is negotiating with the Asian Development Bank and the OECF a concessionery loan to finance and expand industrial forest plantations, including rattan and rubber plantation development. To encourage the private sector to invest in plantation development, several incentives are being offered such as tax rebates, low interest loans, long-maturing loans and security of tenure.

Profitability analyses of NWFP plantation development have disclosed a potential financial rate of return of 16.8 percent for rattan and 28.5 percent for bamboo. The National Development Corporation, a government-owned corporation, pioneered the development of large-scale rattan plantations in the Philippines. The corporation started its rattan plantation project in 1983 in Bislig, Surigao del Sur, Mindanao. As of 1988, some 4,000 hectares had been planted to rattan.

The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) has established experimental plantations of rattan, bamboo and medicinal plants. A DENR bamboo development program is being implemented by ERDB with support from UNDP and FAO. Research into propagation techniques, taxonomy and phenology is being conducted by ERDB. Among the accomplishments of the ERDB program is the development of a technology to hasten the germination of seeds of some rattan species. By removing the seeds' cover, the germination period of palasan (Calamus merrillii) seeds has been shortened from 120 days to 2 days with 97.5 percent germination success.

Equal access to opportunities

In the granting of privileges to gather and utilize NWFPs, as in the leasing of areas for plantation development, local communities will be given priority.

The development of local industries to utilize NWFP raw materials will be encouraged under the program. Incentives similar to those granted under the Industrial Forest Plantation Program will be given to would-be investors. Establishment of cottage industries in local communities will be undertaken, including the development of market linkages.

Upgrading Non-Wood Forest Products Development

This would require the establishment of policies as well as a national program directed toward non-wood resources development.

The non-wood forest-based industry program, which will continue until the year 2015, will require some US$ 1.5 million of financial support per year. The bulk of this amount (88 percent) will be invested in rattan and bamboo plantation development.

To support the government's program to develop the local forest-based industries, the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) has been conducting research into the utilization of forest resources, including NWFPs. This has led to the development of new products as well as the commercial utilization of previously ignored species.

Summary and conclusion

With the declining importance of wood-based industries, and the prospect of more restrictive logging bans, attention has shifted to the development of NWFP-based industries. Wasteful utilization and the destruction of much of the country's forests have also resulted in depletion of the NWFPs and threatens the existence and development of industries using them.

As part of the government's program to provide low-cost medicine to the people and to reduce dependence on expensive synthetic and imported drugs, the Department of Health has recently established facilities for manufacturing medicines from plants. Medicinal plants from the forest, or cultivated in plantations, are used as the raw material of these new facilities.

To ensure the adequate and sustainable supply of raw material to NWFP-based industries, a Non-Wood Forest Products Development Program has been incorporated in to the recently completed Philippine Master Plan for Forest Development. The success of the program, however, hinges on the availability of funds to finance it.

References

America, Leila C. 1989. Discover other potential non-timber forest products. The Philippine Lumberman 35 (6): 37-38.

Anonymous. 1989. Apitong and pill oils are good substitutes for diesel fuel. The Philippine Lumberman. 33 (11):21, 37.

Baconguis, S.R. et al. 1989. Medicinal plants: one of the resources in a secondary dipterocarp forest. The Philippine Lumberman, 35 (1): 19-22, 24-31.

Brown, William H. 1921. Minor forest products of Philippine forests. Vol. I and II. Bureau of Printing. Manila.

Bureau of Forest Development. 1988. Natural forest resources of the Philippines. Philippine-German Forest Resources Inventory Project. Manila.

Bureau of Forestry. 1985. Administrative Order No. 11 (Revised), series of 1970.

Bureau of Forest Development, 1985. BFD Administrative Order No. 2-85, series of '985.

de la Merced, Narciso T. 1988. Rattan industry situation analysis. Proceedings of the National Symposium/ Workshop on Rattan held at Ecotech Center, Lahug, Cebu City June 1-3.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 1989. DENR Administrative Order No. 4, series of 1989.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 1989. Master plan for forestry development (main report) Manila.

Fiber Industry Development Authority. 1991. Statistical bulletin for the fiber industry. Makati, Metro Manila.

Formoso, Gabriel R. 1988. Economics of rattan plantation development. Proceedings of the National Symposium/Workshop on Rattan held at Ecotech Center, Lahug, Cebu City on June 1-3.

Pollisco, Filivberto S. and Aida B. Lapis. 1988. State of the art: research and development in rattan production. Proceedings of the National Symposium/Workshop on Rattan held at Ecotech Center, Lahug, Ceby City June 1-3.

Reyes, Carmelita G. et al. 1990. Salago (Wikstroemia spp.). Research Information Series on Ecosystems 2 (6) 10-19.

Salvosa, Felipe M. 1963. Lexicon of Philippine Trees. Forest Products Research Institute Bulletin No. 1. College, Laguna.

Tesoro, Florentino O. 1988. Rattan processing and utilization research in the Philippines. Proceedings of the National Symposium/Workshop on Rattan held at Ecotech Center, Lahug, Cebu City on June 1-3.

UPLB College of Forestry. Project Evaluation and Pre-feasibility study of Cinchona Reforestation Project.

Forest fruit supplement diets and incomes throughout the region.


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