Public domain photo downloaded from pexels.com

by Secretary Emmanuel Piñol
Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

The production of medical gloves and motorcycle tires using natural rubber produced by farmers in Mindanao will be among the commodity-based programs which will be endorsed by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) for funding support under the P2.1-Billion European Union Grant Fund for Mindanao.

Mindanao's natural rubber farming sector has been adversely affected by the very low world market prices for rubber, a problem worsened by the absence of processing and manufacturing facilities in the region where most of the rubber farms are.

Natural Rubber, produced from trees which originated from the Amazon Jungles and introduced to the Southern Philippines over a century ago, is one of the materials used in producing rubber products.

The other is Synthetic Rubber which is a by-product in the processing of Crude Oil and other chemicals but this could not be used for medical gloves production.

Next week MinDA's planning staff will conduct a final workshop on the projects to be endorsed for funding by the EU Grant which will be implemented starting this year.

The identification of the priorities will guided by three parameters:

1. Job Generation and Reduction of Poverty in Mindanao;
2. Enhance Productivity, especially Food and other basic items;
3. Trigger Immediate Economy Recovery for Mindanao.

The interventions will be Area-Based and Commodity-Based.

The Area-Based Approach will target specific areas where the programs will be focused like the poorest provinces of Mindanao.

The Commodity-Based Approach will identify Mindanao products which if given technical and funding support will provide jobs and trigger the immediate economic recovery.

Mindanao's rubber, along with other critical commodities like Coconut, Aqua-Fisheries, Banana and High Value Crops and Corn, has been identified as a priority commodity for funding support.

The establishment of processing and manufacturing facilities for raw rubber and latex will be pushed to provide Mindanao's rubber farmers added value for their products.

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