Loren bats for gov’t support to fabrics industry in Phl

By Jason de Asis

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, January 25, 2011-Sen.Loren Legarda yesterday called on the Aquino administration and industry players to strengthen the fabrics industry to provide impetus to the agriculture sector and instill pride of identity and nationalism among Filipinos.   

Legarda,who authored the Republic Act 9242 commonly known as the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law, stressed that government should capitalize on the benefits that it would bring to other industries in the country.

In a recent Tropical Fabrics Day celebration of the country, Legarda said strict implementation of RA9242 will create diversity in the textile and fashion industry in which it will give Filipino fashion designers and garment manufacturers more choices in textiles they use.

She said that RA 9242 was intended to promote the country’s natural fabrics in the use of such materials for official uniforms of government officials and employees, with the end in view of strengthening the local fiber industry. This law will also boost the agricultural sector, which will provide the raw materials such as pineapple, banana, and abaca fibers.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) reported that producing a set of uniforms that contain 20% indigenous fiber blend would need approximately 571 metric tons of pineapple, or 691 MT of banana, or 627 MT of abaca fibers; thus, it would generate additional income for farmers of these specific crops.

Legarda said that as they use fabrics which are distinctly Filipino-made,this would also promote sustainable development and at the same time preserve the nation’s rich heritage while being environment-friendly.

To achieve scale economies, Legarda explained that to boost the industry, what needs to be established are reliable supply of materials, the use of modern high technology machinery for greater productivity, grant of financial assistance to the industry, setting up skills training program to produce more loom-weavers and artists, and promoting foreign investments and linkages in the industry.  (Jason de Asis)


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