Dr. Cheryl L. Eusala, the Director of the Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI), paid a courtesy visit to Governor Jim Hataman Salliman of Basilan last April 27, 2023 to discuss the ongoing Pestalotiopsis threat in rubber and the need for collaboration between Basilan and PRRI. During the visit, Governor Salliman emphasized the importance of collaboration between the two entities, particularly in light of the ongoing state of calamity of the province due to the Pestalotiopsis threat in rubber.
The ongoing state of calamity has mobilized the Quick Response Fund of the province to immediately implement control measures in rubber. Despite their efforts, the province is still closely observing the response of their trees to the disease. This is why during the courtesy visit of Dr. Cheryl L. Eusala, Governor Jim Hataman Salliman emphasized the importance of collaboration between PRRI and Basilan. He suggested for another meeting between the two entities to discuss the current status of their rubber plantations and to improve their protocols against Pestalotiopsis if necessary. The governor’s call for cooperation was well-received by Dr. Eusala, who recognized the need to work together to address the challenges facing the rubber industry.
The proposed meeting between PRRI and Basilan will not only focus on the status of their rubber plantations but also on the development of science-based protocols against the disease. Governor Salliman urged PRRI to share its expertise in the matter, emphasizing the need for protocols that are based on scientific research. Dr. Eusala responded positively to the governor’s suggestion, acknowledging the importance of taking a science-based approach to mitigate the impact of Pestalotiopsis on rubber production.
Further, Director Eusala shared that Pestalotiopsis has no known cure yet even in other countries and that PRRI’s recommendations will be based on the experiences of other countries and the ongoing trials conducted in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Aside from the issue on Pestalotiopsis, discussions on creating a 2 hectare model farm demonstrating the use of improved technology in Basilan were also opened. Governor Salliman expressed his willingness to accept this offer as long as it is for the good and benefit of the rubber farmers in Basilan.
Finally, PRRI extends its appreciation to
the Governor Jim Hataman Salliman and the whole Basilan community for the warm welcome, the cooperation, and the enthusiasm to work with the bureau against this battle on Pestalotiopsis.
The courtesy visit of Director Eusala to Governor Salliman highlighted the importance of collaboration and cooperation between PRRI and Basilan, particularly in addressing the ongoing Pestalotiopsis threat in rubber. It was a clear message that in the face of challenges, working together is essential to overcome them and achieve shared goals.
-Elline T. Macay