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Philippine textile sector getting back on track: Experts
24
Mar '15
L-R: Mario Montejo, Celia Elumba/c: PTRI
L-R: Mario Montejo, Celia Elumba/c: PTRI
Considered a sunset industry, the Philippine textile sector is getting back on its feet, concluded stakeholders of the Philippine textile industry at a recent seminar.
 
The conference ‘TELA Serye: ... kahapon, ngayon, bukas. Philippine Textiles: the Future, Today.’ organised by Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST’s) Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) served as a platform for exchange of ideas and insights on innovations in the textile, garment, and fashion industry.
 
Advocates and enthusiasts from various sectors of the government, academia, private institutions, and social enterprises deliberated on where the Philippine industry is headed now, given that there has been a decline in local textile manufacturing in the past decades.
 
The use of indigenous materials such as natural fibres and dyes continues to be a promising area for the Philippine textile industry, which is also expected to receive a boost from smart textiles and eco-friendly textiles, speakers said.
 
Further, there have been recent breakthroughs in functional textiles and nonwoven composites that extend to automotive, architectural, and construction applications. These recent advancements will act as catalysts to growth and global competitiveness.
 
In his keynote address at the conference, Mario G Montejo, secretary DOST, said, Philippine textile industry is poised to accept the challenges that Asean economic integration will bring.
 
Citing a 2012 HSBC report on Global Economics, PTRI director Celia B Elumba said Philippines is set to become the world’s sixteenth largest economy. With its demographics, the country is seen as one of those who will play a significant role in powering global growth over the next four decades, she said.
 
Elumba said PTRI seeks to generate more employment opportunities in the textile and garment sector. She enjoined everyone to work on what is immediately possible: “to strengthen what is already available, to upscale, increase capacity and provide capability.” 
 
She also wanted to focus on the integration of the supply and value chain by importing fewer raw materials and consequently shifting to the production of high-value products, mentions PTRI in the post-event summary on its website.
 
In addition to indigenous natural fibre blends and natural dyes, PTRI is continuing to expand its research and development activities towards more environment-friendly processing of bamboo and recycling of PET water bottles.
 
Amidst challenges that need to be addressed such as high cost of electricity, taxation rates, trade barriers, and importation policies, the textile industry in Philippines is gaining strength. (RKS)
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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