The Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), the premier textile research and development arm of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), is open to conducting research and forge partnership with weavers and weaving communities towards a robust, inclusive, and sustainable creative textile economy.
DoST-PTRI Director Celia Elumba said the PTRI’s doors are open to all individuals and groups who aim to help the government improve and strengthen the country’s textile industry.
“Yes, please, we would like to do that. We would like to be able to have others participate not just institutions, but also individuals,” she said in a virtual open forum shortly after the launching of the PTRI Textile Gallery and Design Innovation Hub and re-launch of the Philippine Textiles E-Portal.
“Certainly, we are open. While we want to hold everybody’s hand, we are also very limited, so come with us with very specific intention, goal and objective and we will help you as much as we can in every way we can,” Elumba said.
She also noted the lack of extensive data on the total number of handweavers and handweaving communities in the country, describing it as “a gap” that should be addressed by the government.
The PTRI official said the government has to find mechanisms to find out the numbers of weaving communities and ensure that appropriate assistance will be extended to them.
She said based on their map, “which is not extensive,” 26 percent of the country’s weavers are in Cordillera.
According to her, about 457 handweaving communities have been recorded with each community having at least six to 10 members. Elumba said based on their map, they estimated that there are around 2,000 to 4,000 “different handweaving persons in the country.”
The DoST-PTRI is holding its two-day TELA Stakeholders’ Conference aimed at sharing the latest textile innovations and programs in support of the textile industry.
This year’s theme of the Conference is “Fashioning Philippine Textiles in the Now Normal and in the Year of the Creative Economy.”
The conference aims to inform key stakeholders, Filipino enterprises, and consumers of the relevance of Philippine textiles as a stimulus for economic development.