PHOTO CREDIT: TELA Pilipinas Facebook Page

Philippine indigenous fabric will soon be seen on uniforms provided for government officials and employees.

As the world gives more attention to Philippine local textile highlighted by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray who showcased native fabrics infused in her wardrobe during the pageant in Thailand, local government initiatives are putting more of the locally-produced textile into official uniforms for the state officials and employees.

The country celebrates Philippine Tropical Fabrics Month and part of the activities is a fashion runway presentation of uniforms using tropical and indigenous fabric.

The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) invited the country’s finest fashion designers including:

  • Rajo Laurel
  • JC Buendia
  • Barge Ramos
  • PJ Aranador
  • Patrice Ramos
  • Albert Andrada

Three more young top designers and uniform-makers have also joined the competition raising the total number to 108 uniform designs and prototypes to be showcased during the Project Presentation.

The Filipino designers are presenting their sets of uniform designs, for both male and female, intended for use by government employees of the following offices:

  1. Civil Service Commission (CSC)
  2. National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)
  3. Department fo Foreign Affairs (DFA)
  4. Department of Tourism (DOT)
  5. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
  6. Department of Science and Technology (DOST)

The runway competition will be held during the Textile Stakeholders Conference on January 31 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

The initiative aims to promote the use of locally made textile accordance to Republic Act No. 9242 or the Philippine Tropical Fabrics (PTF) that aims to boost the local tropical fabrics industry. It was approved in 2004 but only strengthen in 2012 through Proclamation 313 making January each year as Philippine Tropical Fabrics Month.

DOST-PTRI Director Celia Elumba said in an interview with PTV Bagong Pilipinas that the project has a lot of economic potentials.

She said, “We have a very abundant supply of raw materials. Ito ang pwede nating ipagmalaki. Ang daming humihingi sa atin ng pineapple leaves… Marami tayong materials pero ang nangyayari sa Pilipinas, nailalabas yan nang hindi nako-convert o nata-transfrom into a higher value product.” (This is what we can be proud of. Many ask for our pineapple leaves… We have abundant materials, however, they are for export without being converted into a higher value product.)

“We have so many inquiries coming from abroad. And (we) have a lot of Fil-Ams and European-Filipinos who have come to us asking for support and for supply,” Elumba added.

The twin events are dubbed TELA: Gawang Pilipinas, Galing Pilipinas and the Textile Stakeholders Conference entitled “A TELA Story, Philippine Tropical Fabrics: Rising to the Challenge.” The TELA Conference focuses on the production, utilization and challenges of Philippine Tropical Fabrics under RA 9242 and will be attended by textile stakeholders and advocates from different sectors.

The DOST-PTRI together with other stakeholders and partner agencies envisions TELA Pilipinas to gain national prominence to encourage local fabric manufacturers, and make local fabrics as top choices for Filipino consumers.

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