Carlo T. Balneg of Bumagcat, Tayum, has been producing quality bamboo-based products since 2004.

His business, Carlo’s Bamboocrafts, Furniture and Furnishings (CBFF) has sold P72,000 worth of bamboo products in the Kannawidan Trade Fair in Vigan City on January 28-February 10, 2019.

Balneg said they are producing 35 reclining chairs and 300 placemats weekly. These are the best selling bamboo products of CBFF. The reclining chairs are priced from P2,000 to P4,500 depending on sizes.

Other products are folded tables, bed trays, placemats, serving trays, dividers, and bamboo speakers.

With the support of DTI, CBFF promotes bamboo products through the trade fairs in Abra, at the neighboring provinces, in Manila, and Cebu where he gained regular buyers.

Balneg said he started with a capital of P5,000 to P20,000. In 2008, he came across with 33 Point 3 Exports, Inc., a houseware manufacturer and exporter based in Cebu.

DTI-Abra helped him enter into a contract with the exporter and became a supplier of bamboo placemats worth P4.5M for two years.

Other government agencies like Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Sciences and Technology, and Department of Social Welfare and Development provided assistance and loan grants to improve the production.

At the age of 14, Balneg started to work with bamboos. Making bamboo products are their family’s livelihood because of the abundance of the plant in their locality.

Balneg, the eldest of nine siblings, was not able to finish college due to financial difficulties.

Now, at 42, he is taking up Information Technology Course at ASIST-Lagangilang to fulfill his dreams.

He said bamboo production has given his family and employees a more comfortable life.