THE Department of Science and Technology (Dost) has improved the rubber processing facility in Zamboanga Sibugay, as part of the agency’s effort to upgrade the rubber industry in the region.

DOST Regional Director Brenda Nazareth-Manzano said the Philippine Pioneer Rubber Products Corporation's facility was improved with P8.3 million funding support from Dost’s flagship Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).

Manzano said the P8.3 million fund was use for the acquisition of processing equipment like slab cutter with accessories, turbo mill with accessories, and baling press machine with accessories.

She said the Dost also provided technical consultancy services of proper plant lay-outing, process flow, and manpower development assistance such as training, among others.

She said the corporation shouldered the cost of installation and renovation of the processing area.

She said with the interventions the quality of the rubber products will be improved and increase the productivity of PPRPC.

PPRPC Chair Natalia Jambaro said with the upgrading they will be able to cater to more rubber producers especially cooperatives and agrarian reform communities who manage rubber plantations in Zamboanga Sibugay as well as from Zamboang del Norte.

Manzano said the facility was inaugurated last week.