Following the recently concluded Call to Action meeting between PRRI and Zamboanga Sibugay province, the bureau also conducted a meeting calling for a Call to Action Against Pestalotiopsis in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte provinces held last April 26, 2023. The meeting highlighted the current situation of Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease (PLFD) in Zamboanga Sibugay and the need for these neighboring provinces to be alert and adopt the current executive order of Zamboanga Sibugay. As of the meeting, there were no reports of Pestalotiopsis sightings in these provinces.
Director Cheryl Eusala emphasized the urgency to protect the rubber industry against PLFD. Director Eusala urged the provinces to draft or adopt the current executive order of Zamboanga Sibugay and to be vigilant against the spread of the disease.
The Bureau of Plant Industry- Region IX suggested the training of personnel to be assigned at the borders of these provinces to prevent the free entry and exit of rubber planting materials. Collaboration among different government agencies is vital in controlling the spread of Pestalotiopsis and protecting the rubber industry in these provinces.
The meeting concluded with an action plan which includes massive monitoring and surveillance of rubber plantations in the provinces, establishment of quarantine posts, and implementation of biosafety measures. The promotion of Good Agricultural Practices, fertilization, and treatment was also encouraged. The PRRI hopes that this collaborative effort will secure the future of the rubber industry in these provinces.
The meeting gathered not only local government units but also various collaborating agencies, including the Provincial Agriculturists, the Regional Crop Protection Center, the DA-Regulatory Division, and the Bureau of Plant Industry. These agencies expressed their commitment to work together to control the spread of Pestalotiopsis and protect the livelihood of rubber farmers in the region. The collaboration and commitment of all involved parties are essential in achieving these goals and securing the future of the rubber industry in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte provinces.
-Elline T. Macay