MANILA, Philippines - In a bid to promote the use of indigenous fibers in the country, President Benigno Aquino III recently signed Proclamation No. 313, which declares January of every year as Philippine Tropical Fabrics month.
Aquino has assigned the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to prepare for the celebration, which will be highlighted by a fashion show featuring local fibers. Dubbed "Bagong Habi, Salinlahi: Cutting-edge Philippine Textiles," the show will be held on February 8 at the InterContinental Manila hotel in Makati City.
Among the fibers to be featured are abel of Ilocos Norte, hablon of Iloilo and inaul of Maguindanao, as well as saluyot, water hyacinth and maguey developed by the DOST's Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI).
"The competitiveness of indigenous tropical fibers developed by PTRI is becoming known," DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said in a statement.
"Moreover, R&D work done on these fibers reveal they can have a broad variety of uses, from traditional formal wear to fashion accessories. It's prospects are bright," he added.
Meanwhile, PTRI said it is working with other agencies and groups in developing the local fabric industry. They are the Department of Agriculture - Fiber Industry Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, Civil Service Commission, University of the Philippines-College of Home Economics, Textile Mills Association of the Philippines, Uniform Manufacturers Association of the Philippines, and the farmers group represented by the Labo Progressive Multi-Purpose Cooperative.