To help revitalize the local wood industry, the DOST- Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) and the Department of Environment and Natural ResourcesÂ’ Forest Management Bureau (FMB) partnered in a project to assess the wood processing plants in the Philippines.
The one-year project involved the evaluation of requirements and procedures in issuing wood processing permits (WPPs); assessment of the production capacity of selected WPP holders; and value-chain analysis of various wood-based products. Seventeen WPP holders were evaluated.
According to Dr. Dwight A. Eusebio, chief of FPRDIÂ’s Material Science Division and project team member, the results of the study will be used in updating MAO 50, Series of 1986 or the Integrated Regulation on the Establishment and Operations of Wood Processing Plants in the Philippines.
Â“MAO 50 sets guidelines in issuing WPPs. With permits, companies may operate sawmills, plywood mills, veneer plants, pallet factories, and wood-treating plants. They are also allowed to produce products such as lumber veneer, plywood, fiberboard, pallets, buildersÂ’ woodworks and wood chips,Â” explained Eusebio.
He added, Â“Since its crafting in 1986, MAO 50 has been essentially unchanged except for some minor revisions. It is high time that we revisit and update this regulation since the enabling environment for local wood processing companies has changed thru time.Â”
DOThe FPRDI team together with FMB officials evaluated a sawmill in Excel Wood Industries, Inc. in 2017.
Fresco Biofuel, a wood chips producer in La Carlota City in Negros Occidental, was among the companies evaluated.
Results of the project showed no problems in the value chain of products Â— from raw materials processing to product marketing. Â“However, one issue that should be looked on is the insufficient local source of raw materials. Strict regulations on forest resource utilization affect timber supply,Â” shared For. Alberto V. Nicolas, chief of FPRDIÂ’s Technical Services Division.
Nicolas stressed the impacts of Executive Order 23, which prohibits the cutting and harvesting of timber in natural and residual forests. Â“This policy challenged the wood processing industry since raw materials sources had been limited,Â” he noted.
To enhance the flow of timber supply and broaden the resource base of wood industries, the project team crafted recommendations that address policy, technology transfer, information dissemination, and value chain issues.
The project is in line with FMBÂ’s program geared towards the rationalization of wood-based industries. A writeshop was held last year to validate the results of the study.