Corporate News

PRRI pushes for local condom production

Posted on January 12, 2017

THE Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI) is pushing for the local production of condoms in the country, amid its efforts to lift the “underdeveloped” rubber industry.

File photo of condoms -- WWW.PIXABAY.COM
Kailangan natin humanap ng investor. Condom manufacturing, wala tayong manufacturer ng condom. Ang daming tao sa atin pero condom natin galing pa sa Malaysia and Thailand (We have to look for an investor. We have no local manufacturer of condoms. There are so many Filipinos but our condoms are imported from Malaysia and Thailand),” Rodolfo L. Galang, interim executive director at the PRRI, told reporters.

At present, condoms sold in the Philippines are imported from different countries.

Mabawasan ang population growth (Population growth will be reduced)... Instead of importing the product we will have local production. Di na lalabas foreign exchange. Kikita pa tayo (Foreign exchange will not leave the country and we will earn),” Mr. Galang said.

A 2015 report by World Bank ranked the Philippines as the 12th most populated country in the world with 100.70 million.

Mr. Galang added that such project may be a viable pursuit in line with the Department of Health’s P1-billion program to distribute condoms to public high school students starting this year, which is part of the Duterte’s administration’s push for an aggressive implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.

At the same time, Mr. Galang raised the need to uplift the “underdeveloped” rubber industry, as the Philippines continues to lag its Southeast Asian neighbors.

The Philippine rubber industry is currently faced with various challenges such as inadequate supply of quality planting materials, low productivity, and the lack of infrastructure, investors, and marketing research, among others.

Prices of natural rubber has seen declines in the world market in recent years, mainly due to China’s economic slowdown. However, prices have exceeded the $2-mark per ton price only in the latter part of 2016.

To address these issues, Mr. Galang said there should be efforts to expand the local capacity of rubber processing.

“The strategy of the associations is to increase the local consumption of its rubber production to put up more manufacturing plants for different products,” said Mr. Galang.

At present the country, has 25 processing plants for natural rubber. Of these, tires are mostly produced from the facilities.

Data from the PRRI shows that the country produced some 110,000 metric tons of rubber in 2016, higher than the 100,000 MT level in 2015.

Around 80,000 MT of the country’s output last year was exported. Of the total, 67.5% were shipped as natural rubber.

In its mid-term road map that is yet to be signed by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, PRRI intends to reach a production level of 390,910 MT by 2030. -- Janina C. Lim

File photo of condoms -- WWW.PIXABAY.COM