Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:21
Amid the booming rubber plantation industry in Cotabato province, workers are being trained by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the art of extracting an important raw material from the natural crop.
TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva announced the promulgation of the Training Regulations on Rubber Production NC II and Rubber Processing NC II.
These will serve as the training standards for developing the skills of workers interested in mastering the skill and securing employment in plantations.
"The province has the resources. TESDA will help provide the people with competencies through training so that they will learn the skills and technology to transform the crop into useful and marketable products," Villanueva said.
He said scholarships will be made available to qualified trainees under the agency's Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), with an initial batch of 25 students undergoing the training next month at the Makilala Technical Vocational Training Center in Makilala town in North Cotabato.
Villanueva said the rubber tree plantations in the Cotabato provinces are a goldmine waiting to be tapped.
"The white drops of latex are called the whitegold of the plantation. We will train workers that will harvest them," he said.
Rubber is one of the major crops of Cotabato farmers. Farmers are able to harvest natural rubber with a minimum average of 300 kilograms per hectare a month.
These natural rubbers are now being sold to different processing plants to produce dry rubber.
The Philippines hopes to achieve the success of its neighbor countries in the rubber industry, like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
"We can see from these countries that money is indeed flowing from the rubber trees. The Philippines hopes to carve a niche in the rubber industry," Villanueva said.
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