The Philippine Rubber Research Institute successfully conducted a 4-day Consultation Workshop with Rubber Stakeholders among rubber regions nationwide last March 12-15, 2019 in Bacong, Negros Oriental; March 19-22, 2019 in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur and March 25-28, 2019 in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, respectively.  It was participated with the rubber stakeholders, its partner agencies like DOST, DTI, DAR, ACPC, LBP and RFOs HVCDP Coordinators & Research Division Chiefs.  Present also in the activity are the Provincial and Municipal Agriculturist, Managers of the Rubber Cooperatives/Associations, Rubber Traders and Processors, SUCs and Consortiums.   The rubber regions were clustered into three. To comprise the Visayas Caluster are regions VI, VII and VIII; Regions X, XI, and XIII covers the Mindanao Cluster-I; and Regions IX, XII and BARMM composes the Mindanao Cluster-II.  There were around 100 participants on the said event.

The respective Provincial Agriculturist or its representative of the host province delivered the Welcome Remarks in every venue where the consultation was conducted.  Mr. Ricarte V. Castro, Chief, Rubber Technology and Extension Services Division of PRRI delivered the message on behalf of the Acting Executive Director Dr. Dennis H. Palabrica who is on official travel.  He said that in crafting the rubber research agenda and programs, it is deem important to have a consultation with the rubber stakeholders.  He stressed out that this activity will be the start of the continuous partnership and collaboration in pursuing the development of the rubber industry of the country. Another Consultation Workshop will be conducted tentatively scheduled this month of June 2019 in non-traditional areas to include regions II, IV-A, IV-B, CAR and Palawan, Castro said.

Dr. Girlie R. Saludo, Training Officer of PRRI presents the rationale and mechanics of the activity.  She said that PRRI identified that there is a need to strengthen the national research, development and extension (RDE) system to further develop the rubber industry. She informed everyone that PRRI is mandated to lead the rubber RDE programs to improve quality and productivity of rubber in the country. This consultation will serve as a venue for the rubber stakeholders to interact, exchange experiences, cultivate spirit of networking as the key players in rubber development. The following were the objectives of the consultation workshop: (1) to thresh out issues and problems in the implementation of rubber RDE projects, (2) to provide strategic direction on Philippine Rubber RDE, (3) to come up a rubber RDE agenda and programs, (4) to gather rubber profile of rubber stakeholders and (5) to organize regional and cluster Network of Rubber RDE Stakeholders in the Philippines (NRRSPhil).  Expected outputs of the event were rubber researchable areas, rubber RDE roadmap, RDE agenda and programs, rubber profile of rubber stakeholders and organize regional and cluster rubber stakeholder’s network, Saludo added.  

Mr. Meynard P. Abello, Acting Chief of the Crop Management Division of PRRI presented the office profile and strategic plan for the year 2018-2022.  He also discussed the status, problems and prospects of the Philippine Rubber Industry.

There were three workshop conducted. The first workshop was on the problem identification, followed by the crafting of the Rubber RDE Agenda and Programs and lastly on the policy recommendation.  There were four groups created – Group 1 includes Traders and Processors, Group 2 National Government Agencies, Group 3 – Rubber Associations/Cooperatives and Group 4 compose of SUCs and Consortiums. After every workshop, the group reporter presents the group workshop output and the participants interact and inquired as to the details of the report.

On the last day of the activity, Network of Rubber RDE Stakeholders in the Philippines (NRRSPhil) was organized per region. Only the Visayas Cluster had organized their NRRSPhil officers. 

During the closing program, Castro presents the synthesis of the activity.  Participants also shared their impression of the event.

Respective Division Chiefs of the DA-Research Division where the activity was conducted gave the closing remarks of every event.

Meliza L. Robilles, ACPC Representative presented the programs of their office as to how it will be of help to the rubber farmers.
Participants in Bacong, Negros Oriental in action during the workshop on crafting the rubber RDE Agenda and Programs last March 12-15, 2019
Brainstorming session of participants in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur
Rudy Mabalot, DTI Representative of Region IX shared his expertise pertaining to crafting agenda and program particularly in rubber industry
Rubber stakeholders in Mindanao Cluster-II (Region IX, XII and BARMM) during the consultation workshop in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay last March 25-2, 2019
Dr. Esmael, V. Orpilla of LGU Kandingilan presented the group output on rubber policy recommendations during the workshop in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur last March 19-22, 2019.