The Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI), headed by Executive Director, Dr. Cheryl Lazaga Eusala conducted an orientation meeting to contain the possible spread of Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease in the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay. This meeting was held in compliance with the Provincial Executive Order No. 2023-008, “An Order for the Temporary Ban on Movement of Rubber Planting Materials in the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay”.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Office of the Provincial Agriculture represented by Mr. Mark Macasasa, Provincial Veterinary Office (PVET), and, Dr. Darwin Lloyd Sulay of the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office IX Regulatory Division. The attendees were briefed on the nature and characteristics of the disease, as well as the necessary measures to prevent it from spreading. Some of the PRRI technical personnel were also present during the meeting.

During the discussion, Dr. Sulay suggested making a team to craft the biosecurity measures. Director Eusala also emphasized intensifying the surveillance and monitoring of the said disease. This will provide the information essential for program and policy development. More so, monitoring can better contribute to the prevention and management of Pesta.

In her next move after the meeting, Director Eusala will conduct another meeting with the rubber stakeholders of Zamboanga Del Norte, Zamboanga Del Sur and CARAGA region for the same reason.

Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease is a fungal disease that causes leaf fall and defoliation in rubber trees, which can eventually lead to significant yield losses. The condition is highly contagious and can spread rapidly across rubber plantations if left uncontrolled.

PRRI, as a leading research institution in the field of rubber production in the Philippines, recognizes the importance of containing the spread of this disease. The institute is committed to working with local government units and other stakeholders to implement measures to prevent the occurrence of Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease and its spread.

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