Cagayan Valley is set to be the site of a new textile innovation facility that promotes the local production and use of native natural fibers from the Philippines.
The establishment of the PHP40 million-worth Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Center (RYPIC) was recently approved by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
RYPIC is a project under the DOST Inclusive Innovation Textiles Empowering Lives Anew (i2TELA) Program spearheaded by the DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI). The main innovation center is housed at the DOST-PTRI in Taguig City, Metro Manila.
This innovative project is a microscale yarn spinning facility that aims to produce crafted yarns from different blends of natural textile fibers like abaca, banana, and pineapple leaf, in combination with cotton.
The establishment of the said facility in the Northern Luzon corridor will serve as the pipeline to spur further development of the local textile industry in the region and add technical support to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in this sector.
DOST-II Regional Director Sancho A. Mabborang said that this facility is a pride of the North and it is meant to be shared for the benefit of the entire country.
“The principles and philosophy of Northern Luzon is to share what we have with each other. In this fete, we will be including Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), Research Institutions, stakeholders and other regions in the north,” Dir. Mabborang emphasized.
For her part, DOST-PTRI Director Celia B. Elumba expressed her enthusiasm for the creation of the facility and said that the RYPIC has environmental, cultural impact, and economic significance for the country. She further underscored the importance of the regional facilities as part of the Philippine textile map which consists of the various innovation hubs related to the industry.
According to Dir. Elumba, DOST-PTRI can be an offsite campus to help assist, train and develop champions in the textile industry. She also recommends the creation of a program that will identify counterpart ‘master weavers’ in the region.
In support of this initiative, the Cagayan State University Gonzaga campus, as the leading provider of bamboo and bamboo products in the region, will be one of the emerging providers of bamboo raw materials that can be used in the RYPIC.
Dr. Froilan Pacris, CEO of CSU Gonzaga, on the other hand, said that they’re continuously venturing into the development of bamboo-based agroforestry. He also mentioned their ongoing project management office of tissue culture laboratory and research and development center on bamboo.
For Isabela State University (ISU) Ilagan, where the RYPIC would be established, the facility would further strengthen their banner program on textile production and innovation as well as their new curricular offering on textile engineering.
For his part, Dr. Ricmar Aquino, president of ISU assured and gave his full support for the success of the project through their S&T activities that will help the government devise and execute programs to support the local textile industry.
The establishment of the facility was also welcomed by the local government where Bernard Dy expressed his congratulations to the department and lauded the project. “Congratulations everyone and DOST Region II! As always, please count on Cauayan City’s support on this endeavor,” as he further stated his support in the project.
On the other hand, Dir. Sheila Oberio of PSTC Iloilo, the first micro-scale yarn spinning facility in the country, shared their best practices and the challenges they had experienced. She highlighted the importance of the active involvement of their partners and stakeholders in the success of the project.
“We need to cooperate and complement the efforts of the main players of the project, we should build and nurture our relationship to our stakeholders and partners,” she said.
Aside from the improvement in tourism and yarn production, the said R&D Center or facility will also provide a huge benefit to the region’s disaster risk reduction management efforts. Establishing a bamboo plantation will help in the control of erosion and flooding in the Cagayan Valley region which is known to be a flood-prone area.
Lastly, these novel initiatives, using science and technology, will serve as the gateway towards building sustainable textile production and manufacturing given the vast bamboo plantation areas in the region.
DOST-PTRI has also pioneered the Philippines’ 1st natural dyeing facility for textile and handicrafts located in Batangas and has also been supporting the use of local fabric in creating fashionable face masks made of Mindanao textile.
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