Mindanao solons support creation of Philippine Rubber Authority

Piñol said “these 54 signatures could help in fast-tracking for the immediate passage of the proposed House Bill”.

 “I am happy that my fellow congressmen are very supportive and positive to my proposed House Bill,” the neophyte solon said.

He said Mindanao and other areas in the Philippines have comparative advantage over other Asian countries “due to the country’s fertile soil, climatic condition, available labor forces and access to the international market.”

Piñol’s proposal, if enacted into law, would oversee all concerns regarding rubber industry, including its production, price and possible target in the world market.  He introduced the bill in September last year.

In the explanatory note, Pinol pointed out that rubber industry “is very vital in the Philippine export economy”. 

Rubber planters and tappers in North Cotabato, a major rubber-producing area, have expressed frustration on the drop of prices of rubber cuplumps in the past days. From P52 per kilo in the last quarter of last year, it dropped to as low as P13 this quarter.

The rubber tappers in Makilala town have claimed that the price was manipulated by rubber buyers and they have asked Piñol to intervene and impose sanctions on rubber buyers.  

Piñol said however, that the abrupt fluctuation of rubber prices were the effect of the global financial turmoil.  “If there is manipulation it remains to be proven. At this present time I am sure that the plunge of rubber prices is a clear effect of the world recession,” he said.

He also said he has “no power to impose sanction and to control the rubber prices” and could intervene only if it would be proven “that indeed prices of rubber cuplumps were manipulated by the buyers”.

“The solution to this problem is my House Bill creating the Philippine Rubber Authority (PhilRA). Once approve this will determine the fix price of rubber cuplumps in the market,” Piñol said. 

Advocating the planting rubber, Piñol has already allocated some P20 million from his countrywide development fund for the purchase of rubber seedlings under the Plant-Now-Pay-Later program.

Some 500,000 rubber seedlings were already planted in selected areas in the towns of Mlang, Matalam, Tulunan, Makilala, Magpet, Antipas, Arakan and Kidapawan City.  (MindaNews)