The Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rubber Research Institute (DA-PRRI) is responsible for developing and implementing research and development (R&D) programs to improve the productivity and quality of rubber in the country. As part of its collaborative efforts to partner with other agencies to address crop improvement and pest and disease management, and to address the current widespread Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease (PLFD), PRRI submitted a project proposal to the Department of Agriculture’s Biotechnology Program Office (DA-BPO) to explore potential partnerships for rubber research and development.
On May 18, 2023, DA-PRRI Executive Director, Dr. Cheryl Lazaga Eusala was delighted to welcome Ms. Lyr Faith Paruhinog, Science Research Specialist II of DA-BPO, and Ms. Erlyn Jane Garcia, Science Research Specialist II of DA-CBC, who responded with sincerity to discuss matters on the proposed projects of PRRI including the upgrading of PRRI laboratory submitted through the DA Crop Biotech Center and other projects on rubber which DA-BPO can support to help strengthen the institute’s research capacity using biotechnology tools.
One of the highlights of their visit is the validation of rubber testing laboratory facilities. This laboratory is under the name of DA-ZAMPEN but is currently utilized by PRRI through a MOA. The validation is part of DA-Biotech’s efforts to strengthen the capacity of PRRI to conduct research and development activities in biotechnology. The team evaluated the facilities for their compliance with the standards set by DA-Biotech. Also, they conducted Q&A to assess the capabilities of the laboratory staff. At the end of the validation, the team reported their observation. They found out that the facilities need to be upgraded and that the laboratory staff need to be empowered.
The collaboration between DA-Biotech and DA-PRRI is a significant step forward in the development of the rubber industry in the Philippines. The program has the potential to significantly improve the productivity and sustainability of the industry and to create new jobs and opportunities for Filipinos.
Ms. Paruhinog said that the collaboration is a “win-win” for both DA-Biotech and DA-PRRI. She said that DA-Biotech will be able to leverage DA-PRRI’s expertise in rubber research, while DA-PRRI will be able to benefit from DA-Biotech’s expertise in biotechnology.
Director Eusala said that the collaboration is “a major step forward” for the rubber industry in the Philippines. She said that the program has the potential to “revolutionize” the industry and to make the Philippines a major player in the global rubber market.
DA-PRRI is confident enough that the partnership with DA-BPO and DA-CBC will continue. PRRI trusts that DA-BPO will provide the necessary equipment and training for the manpower and resources to carry out the project. On the other hand, Director Eusala affirmed her dedication to this responsibility and will demonstrate her sincerity, together with all of PRRI, by working diligently and fulfilling all of its obligations.
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