The committee on agriculture and food inside the House of Representatives in the Philippines is moving forward with the creation of the proposed Philippine Rubber Industry Development Board (PhilRubber) that will help expand the markets of the country’s rubber industry.
The House committee has approved the creation of a technical working group to finalise a bill to create the PhilRubber board. The group will be headed by Zamboanga del Norte 3rd district Rep. Isagani Amatong who also authored the proposal embodied in House Bill 2912.
PhilRubber will be an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and would require an initial funding of Php200 million.
Under the proposal, the PhilRubber shall be composed of the secretaries of DTI, Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Department of interior and Local Government (DILG); Director General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); President/CEO of the Land Bank of the Philippines; two representatives from the academe; two representatives from the Philippine Rubber Industries Association Inc.; two representatives from the National Lumber Processors; two representatives from the Small Holders Association; and two representatives from the Federation of Rubber Cooperatives.
During a recent hearing of the committee chaired by ANAC IP party-list Rep. Jose Panganiban, Jr., it was stressed that PhilRubber should not duplicate the functions of the existing Philippine Rubber Research Institute created under Republic Act 10089 and the Philippine Rubber Industry Development Authority being proposed under House Bill 4064, which is now pending at the committee on government re-organisation.
Amatong assured that PhilRubber will not duplicate or conflict with the functions of other agencies. He said they studied well RA 1008 while in the course of drafting HB 2912.
“Given the rich, fertile soil of our land, there is so much potential in our rubber industry which would eventually lead to our national economic development. In fact, according to the DA New Road Map as of 2011, only a total of 162,000 hectares of rubber were planted and is projected to reach 200,000 hectares by year 2016, or an average 10,000 hectares per annum,” Amatong said.