Quezon City, September 04, 2023 –
In a significant development for the rubber industry in the Philippines, the Philippine Rubber Research Institute’s (PRRI) Executive Director, Cheryl L. Eusala, held a crucial meeting with Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban. The meeting, attended by Yolanda G. Almacen, a consultant of the Head Corporation (HEAD), focused on HEAD’s ambitious plan to transfer its raw rubber processing and tennis ball factory from China to the Philippines, particularly to Panabo City, Davao.

During the meeting, Ma’am Almacen provided detailed insights into HEAD’s strategic move to establish a state-of-the-art processing plant in Panabo City, which has the capacity to serve up to 2,000 hectares of rubber plantation. Currently, construction is well underway at the chosen location, marking a significant step toward enhancing the domestic rubber industry. Furthermore, HEAD aims to source its raw rubber directly from within Mindanao, fostering local economic growth.

Senior Undersecretary Panganiban seized the opportunity to inquire whether PRRI could assist in aggregating the required raw rubber from local farmers. Director Eusala responded affirmatively, emphasizing that Mindanao possesses the potential to fulfill the new processing plant’s demands. She highlighted PRRI’s ongoing programs aimed at improving the quality of rubber produce, and programs for expansion and replaning using improved technologies, which can further contribute to the success of HEAD’s venture. She also discussed interventions to mitigate the ongoing Pestalotiopsis crisis.
In addition to discussing rubber production, Senior Undersecretary Panganiban encouraged Director Eusala to consider expanding PRRI’s manpower and establishing regional offices, given its status as a national bureau. This suggestion aligns with PRRI’s broader mission to support and promote the rubber industry on a national scale.

The meeting between PRRI’s Executive Director, Senior Undersecretary Panganiban, and HEAD’s consultant, Yolanda G. Almacen, signifies a pivotal moment in the development of the Philippine rubber industry. The collaboration holds the potential to boost domestic rubber production, support local farmers, and stimulate economic growth in Mindanao, all while furthering PRRI’s reach as a national institution.