KIDAPAWAN City – To uplift the lives of small rubber planters, North Cotabato 2nd District Representative Bernardo Piñol filed a House Bill in Congress creating the Philippine Rubber Authority (PhilRA) to promote, manage and support the rubber industry in the Philippines.
Comparative study conducted by his office, shows that the Philippine domestic market needed 323,000 metric tons and about 112,066 metric tons and about 5 percent share is imported from other neighboring Asian countries.
Added to these is the low production and minimal areas for rubber plantation in the country, limited value adding activities of rubber products, lack of defined quality standard and linkages in the farms and producers with the key players in the marketing chain and limited access for loans to finance the rubber industry to boost production to support world market for rubber.
Congressman Piñol said by creating a body that would see, supervise the rubber industry in the Philippines, develop, upgrade and secure market for rubber, protect small rubber planters.
It would help add to the economy of the country and create more jobs for the Filipino people which is one of the 10 point-agenda for development of President Glorai Macapagal-Arroyo.
Piñol said that he would ask President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to help support the bill in the Office of the President to serve as a single entity to make directives to control and manage and implement programs and projects and other activities of the PhilRA.
He also said that most of the Mindanao solons and some in Luzon and Visayas area supports and co-sponsor his bill.
They are willing to visit and see the project in Cotabato Province to emulate and subsequently implement the same in their respective districts.
Piñol added that the rubber industry has greater potentials in Mindanao, especially in north Cotabato and its neighboring provinces because of its vast tract of fertile lands, fair weather condition all through out the year, cheap labor and have a strong labor force.
Added to these is the harmonious relation of Christian and Muslim residents in Cotabato Province, which attracts more businessmen and express willingness to engage in the said industry. (EBC/ CLC-ICC Kid)