Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI) spearheaded the reassessment of the Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease (PLFD) in rubber plantations in Basilan. It was known that the Province of Basilan declared the state of calamity last January 23, 2023, due to the severity of the disease in the province. The disease causes leaf defoliation, reduced productivity of rubber and eventually death of rubber trees.

Upon the request of Governor Jim S. Hataman Salliman, PRRI conducted a re-assessment of infected rubber plantation that aims to provide a more accurate picture of the incidence and severity of the disease after the wintering season in different municipalities in Basilan. This is also an essential step towards better understanding and controlling the impact of this disease on rubber. A comprehensive surveillance of the recorded infected areas took place from May 2-7, 2023 in collaboration with the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Basilan.

As no known control of this disease exists in the world, PRRI conducted trials for possible treatment of the disease. However, the province of Basilan followed the recommended treatment from other countries, which is the application of systemic fungicide.

After the reassessment, a round table discussion will be conducted together with the Local Government of Basilan headed by the Office of the Governor. The discussion aims to further control, mitigate, and treat PLFD in the province. PRRI, along with the Province of Basilan, will work together to reduce the impact of this disease.

The collaboration between PRRI and the Province of Basilan is a significant step towards the management and control of PLFD in the Philippines. The PRRI is also committed to providing solutions to the rubber industry’s challenges by conducting trials, assessments, and collaborations with local governments.

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