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Philippines: Upgrade needed to make rubber sector competitive

The country needs to upgrade its current rubber operations to make these competitive in the natural rubber global value chain (GVC), a policy brief released by the Bureau of Trade and Industrial Policy Research said.

The report, citing an earlier study, said stakeholders in the global value chain can capture higher value by adopting new technologies, creating new products, and engaging in new activities.

The policy brief also cited the need to encourage farmers to use modern agricultural techniques– higher quality planting materials and fertilizers, improved irrigation, and pruning techniques.

“Increased production in the short-to-medium term could help support economies of scale for processors and encourage them to undertake process improvements,” it said.

It added there is also a need to improve processing operations for better quality of rubber and boost commodity prices, and diversify products in final product manufacturing using imported natural and synthetic rubber supply. This will enable the country to “potentially take advantage of the relatively strong export in final rubber products in the transport sector and the emerging producers in the healthcare sector,” the report added.

It explained, “This opportunity, combined with the PEZA (Philippine Economic Zone Authority) and the BOI’s (Board of Investments) fiscal incentives, as well as the availability of manufacturing personnel, can help stimulate the rubber manufacturing operations in the country.”

“This could also help encourage the demand for local production and processing of natural rubber in the long run,” it added.

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