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Road map for Philippine tropical fabrics & ethnic textiles unveiled
Dec '09
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has laid out a road map to define the future of natural fibers for textile manufacture in the Philippines.

DOST, through the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development and the Philippine Textile Research Institute, led the stakeholders in natural fibers industry in drafting the Science and Technology Road Map for Philippine Tropical Fabrics and Ethnic Textiles, which would spell out policy formulation and actions on the efficient use, processing, and production of this raw material to revitalize the local textile industry.

The road map was designed to enforce RA 9242 (An Act Prescribing the Use of Philippine Tropical Fabrics for Uniforms of Public Officials and Employees and for Other Purposes) in 2010, establish a pool of Filipino graphic designers toward 2011, translate natural fiber-processing technologies to commercial production and establish new markets for non-traditional products such as home furnishings by 2011, and revive three to five spinning mills by 2014.

Fiber stakeholders are positive that complying with this road map would lead to reduced cost of raw materials for textile manufacture. This means that Philippine tropical fabrics would be affordable to everyone since textile mills are seen to go into processing tropical fibers, shops selling Philippine tropical fabrics would be established in major outlets such as airports and malls, using natural dyes could be common to all fabric manufacturers, tropical fibers could also be incorporated in local fabrics for such industrial applications as aerospace suit, devices used in general packet radio services, or fabrics infused with antimicrobial properties.

According to DOST, complying with the road map would also result in the preservation and promotion of the country's culture and tradition through everyday use of ethnic textiles from tropical fabrics.

The road map was presented to DOST Secretary Estrella F. Alabastro at the National Conference on Natural Fibers held on December 2, 2009 at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City.

Government institutions and private sector such as the Fiber Industry Development Authority of the Department of Agriculture, Textile Mills Association of the Philippines, National Abaca Research Center of the Visayas State University, Labo Progressive Multi-purpose Cooperative Inc., University of the Philippines Diliman College of Home Economics, Department of Trade and Industry, Uniform Manufacturers Organization and Designers' Association, and a number of individuals in textile industry collaborated in crafting the said road map.

Philippine Textile Research Institute

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