Semi-processed rubber products from Basilan land in foreign markets
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (19 November) -- Semi-processed rubber products from Basilan find its way to Singapore and other foreign market as local producers partner with Manila base exporter which make the business prospects high.
Edwin Pantaleta, general manager of Basilan Countryside Development Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BCDMPC) in an interview in their coffee shop-owned "Ed Mi" in Matina, Davao City said the cooperative does the trading for the 5,000 hectares rubber farm in Basilan.
He said that prior to their coming into the business, the farmers had problems with the buyers as the price they gave per kilo was only P6.
The price offered by multi national companies was very low but when cooperatives partner with Pioneer Enterprise owned by Leonardo Dee they can get as high as P130 per kilo.
However with the current global crisis he said buying now per kilo is down at P80 but still higher than what farmer made before out of their produce.
Pantaleta said there is a high demand for rubber but there is not enough supply from the Philippines.
"What is good with out partner is that the trading between us is up to the time that the finished product is out of the plant and pricing will be on the processed product say in Singapore if it shipped there," he said.
He said there are also other countries that they tapped like Malaysia and China even as he said that there are a lot of processing plants in Malaysia but they lack the raw materials.
In China, he said the whole rubber produce of the Philippines cannot meet even the demand of one processing plant there.
He said the pricing is based on the kind of produce derived from rubber that has three classifications.
The first class rubber classified as SPR (Standard Philippine Rubber) 5L can only be sourced out in Basilan.
This high-grade rubber he said is used for the production of balls for basketball or tennis that are mostly accessed by Slazenger.
The other classifications are SPR 5 which comes next and the most common is the SPR 20 that are being used for the production of tires.
He said Sime Darby and Good Year buy the farmers produce although they maintain some 4,000 hectares where they sourced out the raw materials for their tire production.
Meanwhile, he said small farm lot owners are also venturing into rubber farming and that in Basilan new farms with about 3,000 hectares that were planted three to four years ago will be productive by 2009 to 2010.
A hectare of land would need about P120,000 capital investments for the first five years he said but when the tree becomes productive it can generate per hectare of about P30,000 net income a hectare per month. Compared to coconut, ten hectares of coconut farm would only generate P40,000 in three months.
Basilan's main agri product is coconut followed by rubber then coffee and cacao, he said. (PIA) [top]