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R.A. No. 10089 creates rubber research institute to develop Philippine rubber industry; BAR leads drafting of IRR

by Rita T. dela Cruz

 

rubber

Recognizing the importance of rubber as a high value crop and the rubber industry as a potential dollar earner of the country, Republic Act No. 10089 has been recently passed creating the Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI).

Also known as the "Philippine Rubber Research Institute Act of 2010", the establishment of PRRI aims "to comprehensively realize the goals of human empowerment and economic development in the countryside through programs and projects that will increase rubber production in the country, and improve the quality of life especially in poor rural communities that depend primarily on this industry."

As stated in R.A. No. 10089, the newly-created institute will be "under the control and supervision of the Department of Agriculture" as one of its attached agencies. It is mandated to initiate and administer research and development (R&D) programs to improve quality and increase productivity of rubber especially for the benefit of smallholder rubber producers and processors.

Among its specific functions include:

  1. propagate and promote the planting, maintenance, and wise use of rubber trees as source of latex and finished rubber products;
  2. enable rubber producers and processors to access quality rubber tree seedlings, modern production techniques and other support services from production to marketing;
  3. undertake training and capacity-building programs for rubber producers, processors and cooperatives to increase production of quality rubber and raise level of income of poor smallholders;
  4. assist in establishing village-based rubber enterprises to generate livelihood opportunities and improve general well-being of the majority of workforce in agriculture sector;
  5. promote cooperative development among smallholders and provide them access to resources, technological know-how and decision-making processes;
  6. initiate R&D projects on rubber to address technology and policy gaps in promoting a robust industry; and
  7. enter into an agreement and receive grants from local and foreign funding agencies through the DA.

In the establishment of PRRI, an Advisory Board will also be created to develop policies and programs to improve the state of technologies needed for the rubber industry.

The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), represented by its executive director, is one of the member-agencies of the Advisory Board. BAR, being the national coordinator for rubber RDE of the country is also tasked to lead the drafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the PRRI as stated in RA 10089.