Rubber co-op to start selling motorcycle tires next month

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FARMER-OWNED rubber tire brand Pilipinas Agila Tires will launch on the market in April with an initial product offering of motorcycle tires, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Tuesday.

“The manufacturing and marketing of the tires for working motorcycles commonly known as ‘habal-habal’ as well as tricycles marks a small step forward in the program of the Department of Agriculture to elevate the farmer from the status of a raw material producer to the processor and merchandiser of finished products with added value,” Mr. Piñol said in a social media post.

“The Philippine Rubber Farmers’ Cooperative (PRFC) composed of rubber farmers from all over Mindanao and Palawan (is leading) the effort to develop finished products from the raw rubber cup lumps,” Mr. Piñol added.

According to Mr. Piñol, the PRFC entered into a processing and marketing agreement with Leo Tires Manufacturing of Valenzuela City, with assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“Under the agreement, PRFC will buy the cup lumps produced by its members and process these into rubber blocks called SPR-20 which will be delivered to Leo Tires Manufacturing,” Mr. Piñol said, noting that Leo Tires will then manufacture 300×17 Pilipinas Agila motorcycle tires, which will be bought back by PRFC for sale to the public.

PRFC is expected to earn a profit of P100 per tire sold, according to Mr. Piñol.

According to Mr. Piñol, the approved initial working capital loan for PRFC is P10 million, with an interest of 2%, payable in 10 years.

“The DA projects that before the end of the term of President Duterte in 2022, the country’s rubber farmers will have their own tire manufacturing plant in Mindanao,” Mr. Piñol said. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio