Department of Agriculture, Quezon City//August 04, 2023
In an effort to address the ongoing threat of Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease (PLFD) and its impact on the livelihoods of rubber farmers and workers, a pivotal coordination meeting spearheaded by the Philippine Rubber Research Institute and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Operations was conducted bringing together Region IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, and BARMM being the affected regions.
 
During the meeting, PRRI Executive Director Eusala, unveiled the Pestalotiopsis Treatment Plan, urging cooperation and support from other regions to ensure its successful implementation. Recognizing the immense scale of the challenge, Director Eusala emphasized that PRRI could not tackle this issue alone and sought manpower and logistics assistance to deliver agricultural supplies, which would be procured through the Quick Response Fund for the PLFD affected regions. The Treatment Plan’s proposed schedule and manpower requirements were presented, with the target completion date set for November.
 
Director Eusala underscored the importance of adopting Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) as part of the treatment process. Implementing GAP not only promotes sustainable farming practices but also acts as a preventative measure to curb further outbreaks of PLFD. PRRI is actively conducting treatment trials for PLFD, including both laboratory and field trials for fungicides, with the ultimate aim of developing a comprehensive and effective treatment approach. In collaboration with the Bureau of Plant Industry, PRRI has also conducted deputization trainings for local government units (LGUs) and agricultural technicians, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to support the treatment plan effectively.
 
Executive Director Eusala reported on PRRI’s collaboration with Asec. Benavidez of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). This partnership aims to provide timely financial assistance through the TUPAD (Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers) program, specifically targeted at supporting rubber farmers and workers affected by the PLFD crisis. The objective is to ensure the continuity of livelihoods during the treatment and rehabilitation phase.
 
Asec De Mesa also highlighted the significance of seamless collaboration between PRRI, Regional Field Offices (RFOs), and other line agencies. He proposed engaging Regional Management Councils (RMCs) to foster broader participation and support in the PLFD Treatment Plan. Furthermore, he suggested tapping into Agricultural and Fisheries Councils (AFCs) to bolster treatment efforts.
 
Prominent officials present at the meeting included Assistant Secretary for Operations Asec Arnel De Mesa, Asec for Mindanao Asec Mangelen, RFO XII, and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Additionally, key regions, including Region IX, X, XI, XIII, and BARMM participated virtually.
 
The success of the treatment plan depends on the collective efforts of all stakeholders involved, and the meeting served as a pivotal step towards achieving this goal.
 
– 𝐄π₯π₯𝐒𝐧𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐜𝐚𝐲 𝐀𝐑𝐒𝐠