The Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI), led by Engr. Evangeline P. Garcia, recently conducted an Extension Support Program in the Control and Mitigation of Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease (PLFD), an information drive campaign in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur to educate participants on controlling and mitigating PLFD in rubber plantations. Local officials and stakeholders, including Ms. Alice D. Millan, City Agriculturist of Bislig City, and Ms. Dailinda M. Mamalis, Region XIII HVCDP Coordinator, attended the event on February 21-22, 2024.

Engr. Evangeline Garcia, Training Specialist IV of Rubber Technology Extension Services Division (RTESD) delivered a comprehensive discussion on the history, biology, control, and mitigation of PLFD, highlighting its potential damage and the importance of good agricultural practices. Mr. Gilbert D. Rance discussed other pests and diseases affecting rubber farms and how to control them, as well as the importance of budwood gardens in cultivating healthy and resistant rubber plants. Ms. Christine G. Tabaosares, emphasized the importance of monitoring and surveillance in effectively managing PLFD.

The interactive training program was well-received by the participating rubber farmers and local government representatives from Surigao del Sur. This collaborative effort towards knowledge sharing and capacity building paves the way for a more resilient and prosperous rubber industry in the Philippines.