A GROUP of rubber farmers in North Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines are protesting against low prices of rubber cup lump in the province.
The leader of the Free Tappers Association (FTA) in North Cotabato alleged that a cartel is “controlling” the rubber prices; Several government officials, which he refused to identify, protect this cartel, he said.
The group also remanded the Provincial Government to give the previously promised subsidy to rubber tappers, but which has not materialised.
According to FTA, the rubber prices in the province are in the lowest levels. Rubber cup lump is bought by traders at Php36/kg (less than US$1) or 70% lower than the prices two years ago.
Thailand’s rubber cup lump sells at about Bht58 (about Php80)
Commonly, a rubber tapper gets about 35-40% from the sales, having no farm land of his own.