Issue of August 4, 2019
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1st MP weavers’ summit held
by Bendahara Beau Macliing

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The provincial Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises Development Council conducted the first Provincial Weavers Summit on July 30 and 31.

The Department of Trade and Industry-Mountain Province Office spearheaded the summit which gathered the different weaving proprietors and organization leaders to come up with the 2019-2022 roadmap for the weaving industry.

DTI-Mountain Province Director Juliet P. Lucas said the plan will have to be crafted by the various agencies and stakeholders of the industry to be able to come up with a viable and sustainable work plan to address prevalent issues and concerns.

The activity began with the mapping of the location of the weavers, the identification of the products they are producing and what the weavers are actually receiving for the sale of their products.

Various issues and concerns that are impeding the development of the industry were discussed.

Lucas said that the activity will enable the participants of the summit to draw the present picture of the weaving industry compared to how it was 10 years ago.

During the summit, the local weavers shared their best practices in alleviating issues and strengthening the industry as a whole.

They focused on the identification of the various activities that would add value to the final products produced by the various organizations.

DTI Development Specialist Gloria B. Bagayas said one common challenge that the weavers expressed through the activity is the need for new designs, penetrating the national and international market, promotion, and sustainability.

The weavers expressed their concern on the sustainability of the local weaving industry because although there is a market for the product, it seems that a great number of people, especially the younger generation, are not interested in entering the weaving industry.

They agreed that the existence of “demand” for woven products is a reason why weaving should be sustained.

Lucas said that weaving provides an opportunity for employment and livelihood and should be sustained as it is a part of the tradition and rich history as Igorots and Cordillerans.

She said weaving provides a unique identity to the province as a whole since it is an age-old industry dating back when women started weaving their skirts, belts and men’s wanes, then blankets and burial clothes.

She said the tradition has survived until contemporary times and just needs to evolve to something more responsive to the needs of the times through innovations. Such she said goes back to some of the challenges posed by the weavers themselves in terms of sustainability.

Lucas urged the local weavers to continue coming up with new products and new designs.

“You have to be innovative and must cope with the trends of the times in terms of product innovation, identification and functionality; do your best, be competitive and do not be complacent and strive to have our products reach the worldwide market,” she said.

Venus O. Padayao, provincial livelihood, economic, and investment promotion officer (PLEIPO) who represented Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, said that the provincial government will support and provide additional training to the weavers in response to their request.

She added that they may seek assistance from the PLEIPO in the preparation of documentary requirements that proponents may use when applying for funding from other agencies.

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