Makati City, Philippines – Director Cheryl L. Eusala of the Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI) presented significant updates on the Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease of Rubber and the results of the Technical Working Group Finalization Writeshop on Philippine National Standards (PNS) on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Natural Rubber- Code of Practice. The presentation took place during the 30th PhlRubber Meeting held in Makati City last June 22, 2023, organized by the Philippine Rubber (PhlRubber) Technical Working Group (TWG).
The primary objective of the meeting was to evaluate the performance of the rubber industry as of May 2023, and to identify appropriate interventions to address challenges and maximize opportunities within the industry. The discussions aimed to foster the growth and development of the rubber sector in the Philippines.
During the meeting, Sir Gabriel Cornelio E. Igot was elected as the newly appointed Chairman of the PhlRubber TWG, succeeding the previous Chairman, Ma’am Sitti Jain. Director Cheryl L. Eusala assumed the role of Vice-Chair, bringing her expertise and experience to support the initiatives of the TWG.
Director Eusala’s presentation focused on the results of the Technical Working Group Finalization Writeshop on Philippine National Standards (PNS) on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Natural Rubber- Code of Practice. The writeshop, held from June 14 to 16 in North Cotabato, aimed to establish standardized practices for the cultivation and management of natural rubber in the country. The development of these guidelines seeks to enhance the productivity, quality, and sustainability of the rubber industry while ensuring environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices.
Alongside the updates on Good Agricultural Practices, Director Eusala provided insights on the Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease of Rubber. This disease has posed ongoing challenges for rubber plantations, adversely affecting the industry’s productivity and profitability. Director Eusala emphasized the need for preventive measures in areas that have not yet been infected with Pestalotiopsis.
To address this concern, Director Eusala requested the body to make a motion in support of PRRI’s request to ask for funds from BPI which shall be dedicated to implement preventive measures and strengthen the borders of rubber plantations through the adoption of proper agricultural practices, such as adequate fertilization. It was motioned by Ma’am Ellen Tan-Go of FARMA Industries Incorporated and seconded by Director Al-Zamir Lipae of DTI-IX. As result, a resolution will be formulated to solidify support for the motion. These essential measures play a critical role in curtailing the potential spread of the disease and preserving the health and productivity of rubber trees.
The participants at the meeting acknowledged the significance of Director Eusala’s appeal and recognized the necessity of proactive measures to protect the rubber industry from the devastating impact of Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease.
Members of the PhlRubber TWG also stressed the importance of collaborative efforts among industry stakeholders, government agencies, and research institutions to effectively address the challenges faced by the rubber sector and harness its full potential. With the active members of the TWG, the industry is well-positioned to surmount challenges, capitalize on opportunities, and forge a path toward sustainable growth in the years ahead.
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