Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Director Ricardo M. Oñate, Jr. in his message during the meeting held July 10 at DA conference room assured key rubber stakeholders of the agency’s support.
“Under our High Value Crops Development Program [HVCDP] we have identified various interventions to complement strategies identified in the proposed roadmap. These include production expansion, training support, and processing facilities,” Oñate said.
Based on the report from HVCDP, DA-XI has distributed a total of 451,942 grafted rubber seedlings to 29 farmers’ associations and expanded rubber plantation to at least 903 hectares.
“The making of this roadmap is one way of projecting on what would be the situation of our farmers after the program,” said Alfonso Jack Sandique, Chairperson of the PhlRUBBER TWG.
The rubber industry roadmap aims to expand primary production areas to at least 300,000 hectares, increase the export volume of rubber- based products by 10% annually and increase the income of the rubber farmers above the poverty line threshold.
The roadmap also seeks to take advantage of the emerging opportunities such as the establishment of a local rubber tire manufacturing plant in Mindanao. “This will provide a ready market for our rubber products. The reason why our rubber prices are fluctuating because we have always been dependent on the international market,” said DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol during one of his meetings with farmers and LGU officials in the region.
“We have to create local demand for our rubber products to stabilize its price,” he added.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Agriculture and Food chaired by ANAC IP Party-list Rep. Jose Panganiban, Jr. approved the creation of the Technical Working Group to finalize the House Bill No. 2912 known as the “Philippine Rubber Industry Development Act of 2017”. It will be headed by Zamboanga del Norte 3rd District Rep. Isagani Amatong who also authored the proposal embodied in HB 2912.