Revived tropical fabrics industry: potential benefits
THIS REFERS to the news article titled, “Gov’t office uniforms to go indigenous” (Front Page, 8/29/16).
The use of Philippine tropical fabrics has been prescribed for official government uniforms since 2004 by the Tropical Fabrics Law (Republic Act No. 9242) authored by Sen. Loren Legarda. Her resolve to revive our local tropical fabrics industry was strengthened by her visits over the years to our many communities where weaving is a traditional industry.
She saw that we have the raw materials, the skills and the expertise for such venture.
Government employees numbered about 1.4 million-strong then, and the Department of Science and Technology estimated that processing of local raw materials into finished products could generate an income of P122.8 million for the banana industry, P126.5 million for pineapple, and P110.1 million for abaca fiber.
Products from tropical fabrics have great potential attraction in the world market. With the shift in consciousness and more responsible consumer practices, there is an increased demand for natural, ecofriendly fabrics that give livelihood to communities and preserve the environment.
The strengthening of the tropical fabrics industry is attuned to our advocacy of promoting sustainable development and preserving our rich heritage. It will also provide jobs needed in the rural areas. This effort will instill pride and a sense of identity and nationalism for all Filipinos as we use fabrics that are distinctly Filipino-made.
—RACHEL SIBUGAN HERRERA, chief legal officer, Office of Sen. Loren Legarda