The Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) recently teamed up with government and private groups to push for the optimal use of old rubberwood trees in Zamboanga Sibugay.
The project dubbed “Processing and Utilization of Senile and Unproductive Rubberwood Trees for the Production of High Value Furniture, Mouldings and Joineries” is a three-year initiative that is funded with P57 million from the DOST-GIA.
Representatives of DOST-FPRDI, DOST-IX, Tambanan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (Tarbemco) and other regional stakeholders gathered on March 21, 2018 for the launch.
Ordinarily in the Philippines, senile rubberwood trees are used for making low-value products such as fuelwood, pallets and crates. In Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, however, the material is made into higher value items, including housewares, housing components and composite boards. With 210 hectares of old rubberwood trees, Tarbemco plantations are expected to yield 31,500 cubic meters of valuable lumber.
According to its project leader, Engr. Victor G. Revilleza, “To maximize the use of this resource, we aim to establish a complete line of rubberwood processing facilities from timber harvesting to finishing, generate technical information and technologies on its preservative treatment, determine the financial viability of production operations, prepare promotional materials to encourage its use, and train woodworkers on processing techniques to produce high-value products.” (FPRDI Press Release)