Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Reviving the Local Rubber Industry

Efforts to rekindle interest in the 100-year-old Philippine rubber industry is on.

The most recent activity that helped pave the way toward this goal was the "International Rubber Conference and Centennial Celebration" held last Nov. 22-24 at the Waterfront Hotel in Davao City.

The organizers described the conference as "a rare occasion for the old and young concerned rubber people to see for themselves the necessity and importance of rubber during the next century."

The forum’s ultimate purpose was the "creation of excitement that will trigger revival of new interest and more support for the development of rubber in the millennium."

Organizers were the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), Philippine Rubber Board, Inc. (PRBI), North Cotabato provincial government, and University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in Kabacan, North Cotabato.

Cooperator was the Malaysia-based International Rubber Research and Development Board (IRRDB). Participants were world-known scientists on natural rubber from rubber-producing IRRDB member-countries (Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and China) and non-rubber producers (France and the United Kingdom).

Also invited were representatives of government agencies supportive of the natural rubber industry, rubber farmer-organizations, manufacturers, processors, traders, other stakeholders, and nongovernment organizations. DA-BAR said this was the first time that an international rubber conference was held in the country.

"This is the Philippine rubber industry, centennial celebration, which is a good time as well to let the world know that rubber has become one of the most treasured products in the Philippines," it stated. A conference report noted that rubber was introduced in the country as early as 1905 in Basilan Island.

The Menzi Agricultural Corp. started commercial rubber production on the island in 1914. In 1915, another big rubber plantation, the Rio Grande Rubber Estate, was established in an area in Kabacan where the then Mindanao Institute of Technology (MIT, now University of Southern Mindanao) is located.

A number of big rubber plantations owned and managed by foreign multinationals followed. Some of these were Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Zamboanga del Sur and the American Rubber Company in Basilan, both in 1919. In the late 1950s, large-scale plantations were established in Basilan by Goodrich and in Cotabato by Firestone.

This was followed by a few others in some parts of Mindanao, mostly by local investors. Owing to the growing interest of small and medium landowners, the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and Philippine National Bank (PNB) offered a rubber development loan financing scheme, with rubber plantation technology coming from big plantations’ technical staff and from MIT, which began offering short courses on rubber in 1958.

However, the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) and the suspension of the DBP and PNB rubber loan scheme altered the total picture of the rubber industry.

The industry is organized as follows: Philippine Federation of Rubber Associations, Inc. (PFRAI) based in Mindanao, composed of planters, processors, traders, cooperatives, and associations; Philippine Rubber Industry Association (PRIA) based in Manila, composed mostly of traders and manufacturers; and lately the Philippine Rubber Board, Inc., the main body for organized developments, maintenance of standards and international development protocols, and protection of the interest and well-being of the industry stakeholders.

The government, through DA-BAR, DA-Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), DA-Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), and private entitled support or work for the rubber industry. The country has only about 100,000 hectares or rubber after 100 years with an average production of .9-1.2 tons per hectare per year.

The Philippine rubber farmers are 95 percent smallholders, producing 98 percent cuplumps. Only a small portion of the total production is used locally. "This Philippine rubber industry is in need of more focus and meaningful plans and programs, cohesive organizations with honest and sincere manpower, more support from the government and private sectors, and more collaboration with international institutions and organizations," the conference organizers stressed.


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AGRI-INFO/DECEMBER 27, 2005


TITLE: REVIVING THE LOCAL RUBBER INDUSTRY


ALAM BA NINYO NA MAS PINATINDI PA NGAYON ANG MGA HAKBANG NA GINAGAWA NG PAMAHALAAN PARA BUHAYIN AT MAITAGUYOD MULI ANG INDUSTRIYA NG RUBBER O GOMA SA BANSA.

ANG GANITONG HAKBANG AY NAGLALAYONG MAGPATULOY NA MAGING AKTIBO SA SUSUNOD NA MGA TAON ANG RUBBER INDUSTRY SA BANSA.

SA KATUNAYAN, NAGTUTULUNGAN NA ANG DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE-BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, PHILIPPINE RUBBER BOARD, INC; NORTH COTABATO PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MINDANAO SA KABACAN, NORTH COTABATO, AT ANG INTERNATIONAL RUBBER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT BOARD NA NAKABASE NAMAN SA BANSANG MALAYSIA.

KAMAKAILAN AY IDINAOS SA BANSA ANG INTERNATIONAL RUBBER CONFERENCE AND CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION NA NILAHUKAN NG MGA SIYENTISTA MULA SA MGA BANSANG AKTIBO SA INDUSTRIYA NG GOMA KABILANG NA ANG MALAYSIA, THAILAND, VIETNAM, CAMBODIA, AT CHINA MAGING ANG NON-RUBBER PRODUCERS TULAD NG FRANCE AT UNITED KINGDOM.

ANG INDUSTRIYA NG GOMA PARA SA ATING KAALAMAN AY UNANG IPINAKILALA SA PILIPINAS NOONG 1905 SA LALAWIGAN NG BASILAN, AT ANG MENZI AGRICULTURAL CORPORATION AY NAGSIMULA NG COMMERCIAL RUBBER PRODUCTION SA BASILAN NOONG 1914.

ANG BUONG BANSA AY MERON NA LAMANG NGAYON 100-LIBONG EKTARYANG PLANTASYON NG RUBBER TREE PAGKALIPAS NA 100 TAON MULA NANG ITO AY IPAKILALA SA BANSA NA ANG KABUUANG PRODUKSIYON SA BAWAT TAON AY NASA 9 HANGGANG 1.2 TONELADA SA BAWAT EKTARYA.

DAHIL DITO, MAS KAILANGAN NGAYON ANG IBAYONG PAGTUTOK SA NATURANG INDUSTRIYA PARA LALU ITONG MAGING MASIGLA SA MGA SUSUNON NA TAON.


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