Negros Oriental solons push creation of Philippine Rubber Authority

July 6, 2009 9:16 am 

DUMAGUETE CITY, July 6 – Negros Oriental has good potential for rubber plantation because of its vast areas suitable for rubber trees.

Rep. George Arnaiz of the 2nd District said he is planning to expand the rubber plantation in the province.

Arnaiz said the potential market for rubber is unlimited because of the huge market demand.

It was discussed during a recent convention that even if the entire Philippines would be planted with rubber, it would still not be enough to supply the bulk of the demand in the industry.

Recently, Arnaiz along with Reps. Jocelyn Limkaichong of the 1st district and Pryde Henry Teves of 3rd district attended a three-day International Convention on Rubber in Laos.

The Philippines has been producing rubber from big rubber plantation areas in Basilan, Zambanga del Norte and Sur and Cotabato.

With this, the three representatives of the province pushed for a proposed bill in Congress for the creation of the Philippine Rubber Authority. The said agency would help boost and monitor the rubber industry in the country.

Bayawan City is still the only local government unit in Negros Oriental that has adopted the propagation of rubber trees since in 2004.

Rep. Arnaiz said Bayawan City Mayor German Sarana was convinced of the marketable value of rubber after a visit at a rubber plantation of former Cotabato Governor Manny Pinol.

During his term as governor of Negros Oriental, Arnaiz said his administration allocated some P3 million per year from 2005 until 2006 for the rubber plantation in Bayawan City.

Arnaiz said he also planted some 400 rubber trees on his hometown in the Pamplona.

Rubber trees are best planted in low lying areas since rubber cannot survive with strong winds because of its weak branches, he said.

He explained rubber trees can normally be harvested after five years although it would still depend on its growth. The bark of the tree will produce a sap that is called raw rubber.

At present, raw rubber is sold at P35 to P60 per kilo depending on the season. It would also be an advantage for Negros Oriental since a rubber factory is in Dipolog City.

Arnaiz added rubber is also good for the environmental because according to a study presented during the convention, rubber trees can capture more carbon dioxide and emit more oxygen compared to other kinds of trees. (PNA) LAP/jfp/MA

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