Davao Oriental gears up for rubber plantation dev't and expansion
Davao City (18 February) -- Plans and interventions are now on the pipeline as the province of Davao Oriental is embarking on the development and expansion of its rubber plantations.
The local government unit (LGU) of the province and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 11 are spearheading this particular project, in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
A total land area of 500 hectares in the municipalities of Banay-Banay, Gov. Generoso, Lupon, Mati, Tarragona, Manay, Caraga, Baganga, Cateel, San Isidro, and Boston has been identified for the project. The proposed project is expected to take off in March this year.
DTI 11 Regional Director Marizon S. Loreto Loreto said the overwhelming number of business interests generated by the rubber industry, as one of the focus industries, during the first Mindanao Investment Conference (Min iCon) last year is a manifestation of its potentials.
"We can't deny the fact that rubber has transformed the rural economies of Malaysia and Thailand into two of the most vibrant in Southeast Asia. If they have done that, why can't we? The Philippines has vast idle and unproductive lands which can be utilized as rubber plantation," she said.
She added that considering its high job creation potential, the project must be pushed through especially now that the world is facing an economic meltdown.
Data from DTI-Davao Oriental shows that the province has 200 hectares of existing rubber plantation. However, only 25 percent of this is productive.
"At present, the Philippines ranked number 11 in the world in terms of rubber production. With the development of 50 hectares more of rubber plantation, we can probably boost our ranking in the global trading arena," she said.
Loreto said the by-products of rubber can be marketed to potential buyers here and abroad. Natural rubber is a raw material used in the manufacture of industrial products (conveyor belts, rubber rollers), automotive products (fan belts, radiator hoses), latex products (rubber gloves, toys hygienic products) and adhesives.
The rubber plantation development and expansion project of Davao Oriental is the official initiative enrolled by the province to the Comprehensive Livelihood Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP).
CLEEP is the umbrella of the several poverty alleviation programs of the government viewed as an immediate response to the impact of the financial crisis, especially on unemployment. (DTI XI/PIA XI) [top]