Four-term Senator Loren Legarda eyes the promotion of the country’s weaving industry. Legarda recently filed SB 241, or the Philippine Handloom Weaving Industry Development Act of 2022, which seeks to empower weavers and mainstream government programs to develop the local textile industry.
Under the proposed measure, a National Handloom Weaving Department Council will be established composed of representatives from the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the Garments and Textile Industry Development Office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The Council will generate the National Handloom Weaving Industry Development Policy to generate a roadmap for the industry, intellectual property framework for textiles, innovation, and promotion of textile-related Technical Skills and Vocational Education and Training.
“It is high time we provide the much-needed assistance to our local textile industry, our weavers, and our artisans who continuously safeguard our country’s rich heritage. With the increasing price of raw materials and marketing concerns, we must give our weaving industry a fighting chance. Our handwoven fabrics deserve recognition,” Legarda noted.
The four-term Senator noted that handloom weaving is one of the country’s most time-honored industries and generates income in rural areas. Legarda, also the author of RA 9242 or the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law, has previously provided support through the Philippine Fiber Development Authority (PHILFIDA) for the establishment of weaving centers and cotton processing facilities nationwide. She is also the patron of the country’s first permanent textile gallery, Hibla ng Lahing Filipino.