DOF bats for creation of rubber authority

Published by rudy Date posted on May 20, 2009

The Department of Finance is pushing for a legislative measure that would create the Philippine Rubber Authority under the Office of the President, the National Tax Research Center (NTRC) said.

Lina Isorena, NTRC executive director, said House Bill 5177, or the Philippine Rubber Authority Act of 2008, will create the PhilRA to serve as the government’s primary planning, regulating and marketing agency responsible for the rubber industry.

The bill also exempts the PhilRA from payment of Customs duties and taxes on the importation of dairy animals, veterinary and other supplies, other farm inputs, rubber equipment and machineries to be distributed to rubber farmers’ cooperatives.

The measure allows donation, contribution, bequest, subsidy or financial aid, which may be made to the PhilRA as deduction from the income of the donor for income tax purposes. This exempts the same from donors’ tax provided it is inline with the National Internal Revenue Code.

“The intention of the bill to promote, develop and assist the rubber industry in the country, especially small-farmers and their cooperatives, is supported. The development of this industry is expected to create more business opportunities and employment and aid in achieving rural development,” Isorena said.

According to the NTRC the natural rubber is a lucrative market in the global industry and is expected to sustain price increases in the next 20 years.

Data from the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics showed that as of 2007 the country has 111,000 hectares of land planted to rubber, which yielded about 404,100 metric tons of rubber. For the same year, farm-gate price was averaging to P38.29 per kilogram while wholesale price was at P38.18 per kilogram.

The Philippines exports about 40 percent of rubber to major export markets such as Malaysia, China and Singapore.

The agency added that the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan recognized the need to develop the country’s agriculture industry to help alleviate poverty and improve rural development.

“The government need to complement the PhilRA with more investments and assistance in developing sustainable farm-based technology and other long-term initiatives to ensure greater and more effective use of available resources that will help achieve security and sufficiency of rubber for domestic consumption as well as for export purposes,” Isorena said.
— Lailany P. Gomez, Manila Times

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