The Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI) conducted a 2- day Rubber Database Management Workshop which was held at Casa Mea Hotel last May 20-21, 2015. Participants from different regions and provinces attended the said event. The resource speakers of this workshop were Madam Sheela Thomas, the secretary general of Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) and Mr. Muhammad Thalhah Ab. Karim, economist of ANRPC which was based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The primary objective of the workshop was to develop comprehensive data management system of rubber industry in the Philippines, which is essential to effective planning and monitoring of development programs.

On the first day of workshop, the opening message was delivered by Dr. Dennis Palabrica, Assistant Regional DirectorDA-RFO9. He said that rubber is one of the main commodity and source of income in Zamboanga Sibugay Province. He also added that in order to realize the objective, we need a baseline on how to collect and analyze data, thus, harmonize rubber data in the country. He also favor that rubber is a unique crop since it can be stored in along period of time and no irrigation is needed. The municipal mayor of Ipil Atty. Eldwin Alibutdan also gave his speech. He emphasized that rubber is an issue of life in the municipality of Ipil and compared the issue of rubber to the issue of poverty and challenged the institute to strive hard to help our people in rubber industry. Executive Director Mr. Rodolfo L. Galang, gave his opening message, he noted that rubber has been a priority commodity of the Department of Agriculture for more than 10 years now about 170,000 hectares have been planted all over the country. But data show that Philippines is lagging behind our neighbouring countries in terms of hectarage and productivity and is now placed as number 10 in the ranking of ANRPC member countries. With this scenario, Dir. Galang emphasized on the need to initiate projects to support the rubber industry. He encouraged to plant rubber trees even though the price is low so that when the price gets high we are ready and not left behind by our neighbouring countries. Madam Sheela Thomas, Secretary General of the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) explained that currently there was more supply of natural rubber than demand in the world which resulted to low price. She stated that good planning leads to better development if we have accurate data collection. In addition, using high-yielding recommended clones will increase latex yield. In the speech of M. Thalhah Ab Karim, he first gave an overview about Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries. ANRPC is an intergovernmental organization with 11 member governments. One of the functions of the association to serve an authentic and up-to-date information resource centre of natural rubber industry. Regarding his topic on ANRPC Industry Data and Methods of Data Collection, he gave a work flow: first, data requested by ANRPC are collected during every 16th of the month, then corresponding agencies should furnish data by final week of the month if no data received, ANRPC will do the estimation and lastly it will be released of Natural Rubber Trends and Statistics (NRTS) on the first week of the following month to subscribers. He also cited the key factors influencing natural rubber (NR) supply which includes price as key factor, replanting and new planting, climate change, current yielding area and government policies and programmes. Based on NR Production of 2015, Thailand produce about 39%, Indonesia 28%, Vietnam 9%, China 8%, India 7%, Malaysia 6% and only 1% for Philippines, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Trends in exports, preliminary data indicates that exports decreases by 3.4% with two major producers Thailand and Indonesia showing a contracted growth of 5.0% and 8.4% respectively. For the outlook of World NR Production Forecast up to 2020, the ANRPC is estimated at 11.373 million tonnes this year an increase of 3.8% against 2014. Under normal condition, ANRPC production is expected to increase by7.4% in 2016 and subsequently reach 14.1 million tonnes by 2020.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) consolidated rubber data by volume of production, area planted and number of tappable trees as of 2010 – 2014. In 2010, the production in metric tons(MT) is 395,237 MT and goes to 453,052 MT by 2014. While the area planted in 2010 is 138,710 hectares and increase to 217,687 hectares in 2014. The tappable trees in 2010 was 39,369,228 and 52,457,749 in 2014.

According to Philippine Rubber Industries Association (PRIA) the major players in the rubber industry in downstream sector consist of:

  • 4 Tire Manufacturers/ Suppliers & Retreaders
  • 14 Automotive, Industrial Parts & Sporting Good Manufacturers
  • 3 Footwear Manufacturers
  • 3 Latex- based Product manufacturers
  • 10 Rubber Chemicals Manufacturers & Suppliers
  • 10 Suppliers& Traders of Rubber Machineries, Raw Natural Rubber
  • Chemicals & Container Lines
  • Yokohama Tire Philippines, Inc. (YTPI)
  • 25 PEZA locators (non- PRIA members)

On the second day, participants from regions, provinces and universities presented their rubber data and data collection procedures. It includes the number of area planted for both productive and unproductive rubber trees, rubber production, rubber development programs and extension services. Most of the data presented are from Bureau of Agriculture and Statistics (BAS). However, the BAS data has a big difference compared to the data obtained from Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) and Municipal Local Government Unit-(MLGU). The difference between the two sources of data showed a problem in the rubber database management in the Philippines. Hence, the need to harmonize methods of rubber data collection.

The workshop on developing the database, data identification and data gathering strategies was facilitated by Mr. Ricarte Castro. The workshop guidelines aimed to enhance rubber production and consumption database in the Philippines and to harmonize data collection. Comments, suggestions, and additional information were proposed and further analyzed to come up with the format and content of the guidelines which will be used during the survey for collecting rubber data throughout the Philippines. It was also suggested to hire a technician per municipality to facilitate the data collection. The workflow of the collection should start from the field to municipalities and provinces, then passed to the region and lastly PRRI will consolidate and validate the data to come up with harmonized and accurate data. By: (Allan Boy Tabigue)