Philippines will double Rubber Production for High Domestic Demand

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The government is looking at doubling the country's 2010 rubber industry production and supply 50 percent of domestic natural rubber requirements by 2016, the Department of Trade and Industry said.

DTI Undersecretary Merly Cruz said this is part of the development plan for the industry, which recently got a big boost with the signing of a commitment by government, the financial institutions and the industry stakeholders at the 1st Philippine Rubber Investment and Market Encounter or PRIME 2012 in Clark, Pampanga last September 19.

"We envision the Philippines as one of the major natural rubber producing countries in Asia. We are targeting to double the Philippine rubber industry's production in 2010 and supply 50 percent of domestic natural rubber requirements by 2016," Cruz said during the PRIME 2012.

"To increase the domestic market share of natural rubber by 50 percent for the next 5 years, we intend to facilitate direct market access to tire and other natural rubber-based manufacturers in the country," Cruz added.

 "By 2016, we also aim to increase export of crumb rubber to China and other Asian markets by 25 percent by improving the quality and ensuring compliance to product standards. We also intend to increase production of crumb rubber by 10 percent annually through enhancing productivity through improved and new technology and upgrading dilapidated processing facilities in identified rubber producing regions and provinces," Cruz said.

 The DTI spearheaded the signing of the commitment to support the rubber industry's programs, projects and activities in the Philippine rubber industry road map.

Other signatories include the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Environment (DENR), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Philippine Rubber Industries Association (PRIA), and representatives of rubber producers and processors committed

The statement of commitment recognizes the extent of market and business opportunities in the country's rubber industry. If fortified, these opportunities are expected to generate investments increase domestic and export sales, and create job opportunities that will contribute to inclusive growth and poverty alleviation.

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The DTI together with other government agencies facilitate the strategic partnership to formulate and execute the Philippine rubber industry road map. This road map contains long-term goals and short-term strategies that will chart the direction of the rubber industry in the country.

PRIME 2012 is first industry event of the country to focus on providing access to market and investment opportunities in the rubber industry. It was attended by participants who are experts, policy makers, rubber producers, processors, traders and exporters, and manufacturers such as Yokohama Tire Philippines Inc. (YTPI) and members of the PRIA.

The PRIME 2012 intends to expand the domestic market for natural rubber, provide opportunities for the natural rubber producers and jobs for rubber farmers and industry workers.

The statement of commitment to support the rubber industry's development also acknowledges that the rubber industry's growth and sustainability depends on the quality of participation, the competitiveness and equitable sharing of benefits among stakeholders, and the support of national and local agencies, and development partners. It also expresses appreciation to the efforts of key rubber industry players and stakeholders in assessing the industry and recommending policy actions, programs and projects.

Further, this statement of commitment also supports the formation of the national rubber inter-agency team that will ensure the implementation and monitoring of the policies, programs, and projects in the rubber industry's road map and other development initiatives that may be identified in ensuing consultations with stakeholders. It also enjoins key players and stakeholders in the industry to strengthen their collaboration to surface concerns, address challenges and push the industry to forward.

"As part of our strategy, we also organized the rubber industry cluster team to institutionalize the convergence of the various stakeholders in the rubber industry, and develop the Philippine rubber industry," Cruz said.

"Likewise, we will also provide smallholders and cooperatives easier access to financing facilities and strengthen farmer organizations and cooperatives. We also aim to create an environment conducive to the development of the rubber industry by providing support facilities and infrastructures, policy, incentives, and other support services," Cruz added.

Manila Bulletin 

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