The Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI) recently held its annual project review on April 18-19, 2024, as part of its commitment to excellence and its pursuit to continuously improve its programs and projects. This milestone event is being funded by the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD). With thorough preparation, PRRI researchers actively honed their presentations to showcase PRRI’s research works in rubber research and development (R&D) and extension.

Dr. Nimfa Torreta, Director of the Farming Systems and Environment Research Division (FERD) together with Dr. Marcelino Siladan and Mr. John Benrich Zuniga served as the panel of evaluators. Also present were Atty. Abegail Dalupang and Mr. Rodel Piccoro, representatives from the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Office of the Secretary.

Some of the notable research presentations were coming from: Dr. Jill D. Villanueva who introduced the AI-based Clinic Project and Etiology, Detection and Management Strategies against Pestalotiopsis Disease of Rubber Project. During the discussion, Dr. Siladan interacted with a suggestion to incorporate a technology roadmap onto the website, which is the IRISDD.

Ms. Honey Fe Boje also shared insights into the Novel S4 Tapping System Project showcasing improved tapping technology. She also shared inspiring success stories of farmers that are beneficiaries of the project’s stellar innovation.

In addition, Mr. Meynard Abello explained the Efficient Rubber Tapping Device Project outlining its practical implications for rubber farmers. As a result, DOST-PCAARRD staff offered constructive suggestions and assessments to ensure the project reaches its fullest potential.

The second day featured a field visit to Brgy. Sulo, Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay. During this visit, visitors gained valuable hands-on experience with the AI-based detection and identification of Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease (PLFD)-infected trees. This immersive experience provided a deeper understanding of the practical applications of PRRI’s research in the field.

This successful annual review and collaboration between PRRI and DOST-PCAARRD has in a way helped advance the future of rubber production in the Philippines thanks to the supportive government policies aimed at promoting innovation in Philippine agriculture.

To more collaborations in the future!

– Ivony Tantiado and Julius Biolango