By Madelaine B. Miraflor
A slightly cheaper brand of motorcycle tire will soon be sold in the Philippines and it is locally manufactured, using the rubber bought from Filipino farmers.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that as much as 10,000 pieces of Pilipinas Agila Tires, the first locally manufactured motorcycle tire brand, will be up for sale in two weeks.
On April 26, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are set to jointly launch the Pilipinas Agila Tires.
The launch will pave the way for the commercial distribution of the first batch of Pilipinas Agila Tires, which will be sold at P700 per piece, which is slightly cheaper than the existing brands that cost P800 to P1,200 apiece.
Piñol said the launch will likewise mark the start of a nationwide marketing program for the brand, which uses 100 percent local rubber bought from Filipino farmers.
“Motorcycle tire dealers from all over the country will be invited to join the launching and will be asked to support the country’s farmers by promoting the Pilipinas Agila motorcycle tires,” Piñol said.
The launch of the Pilipinas Agila Tires will coincide with the awarding of outstanding farmers and fishermen and their cooperatives and associations who have made a 91 percent repayment of their loans from the DA’s Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC).
The Pilipinas Agila Tires is a product of the Philippine Rubber Farmers Cooperative (PRFC), a group of Filipino rubber farmers that was organized by the DA two years ago as part of the program to elevate farmers to the level of processors.
The cooperative received a loan worth P10 million from ACPC to start its tire manufacturing business.
Payable in 8 years at 2 percent interest per annum, the capitalization was used to buy the rubber cup lumps produced by its members and other rubber farmers which is formed into a semi-processed rubber cubes called SPR-20.
The PRFC then delivered the SPR-20 to Leo Tire Manufacturing in Valenzuela who processes this into motorcycles tires initially. Leo Tire Manufacturing will soon make small tractor and multi-cab tires out of the scheme.
“The tire manufacturing project is expected to stabilize and even increase the buying price of raw rubber produced by farmers in the country,” Piñol said.