Nice morning po sa ating lahat!
Ikinagagalak ko pong makasama kayo sa paglunsad ng Philippine Silk Summit 2020, na bahagi ng Tela Vision 2020. Nais kong magpasalamat sa Philippine Textile Research Institute sa ilalim ng Department of Science and Technology sa inyong paanyaya.
As the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, I believe the holding of such summits is crucial in sparking discourse on the state not only of the silk industry, but of all Philippine Tropical Fabrics (PTF).
Healthy discourse, one that is receptive to all inputs, even criticisms, from stakeholders, is key in identifying our weaknesses and strengths, and forging a way forward in our collective efforts to revitalize what was once a viable industry.
There are various areas of improvement, which require collaboration with the rest of government. Kinakailangang paigtingin pa natin lalo ang pagtutulungan ng iba’t ibang ahensiya at sangay nq pamahalaan sa bawat yugto ng proseso ng silk production, kasama na rin ang iba pa nating indigenous fabrics.
We cannot emphasize enough the need for the agencies, foremost of these the DOST, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Trade and Industry, to come up with a flawless working relationship with our farmer, fabric weavers, dressmakers, and entrepreneurs, among others.
Each department must have a clear understanding of its function with respect to production. For example, the PTRl should ensure continued research and development and knowledge transfer. The DA, meanwhile, using the PTRI’s research, should focus on providing our farmers with all the support they can get in terms of increasing the capability and capacity to properly propagate the mulberry trees and silkworms. We must put in place the proper infrastructure and mechanisms that would provide farmers a better environment with which to work. Ang DTI naman ay dapat maging aktibo sa aspekto ng branding, product development, at sa paglatag ng maayos na sistema sa supply and demand side, partikular na sa pagsiguro na hindi madedehado ang ating mga silk entrepreneur sa kanilang pagsisikap na mapunan ang demand.
Yet, there should also be various points of convergence throughout the process for the agencies involved, especially in efforts to constantly upgrade existing facilities and equipment as well as the skiIIset of those engaged in the trade; and in providing easier access to credit and technology. Ang pagpapayabong ng silk industry ay responsibilidad ng lahat. at hindi lamang ng isang partikular na ahensiya.
Government’s presence must be felt every step of the way—sa pagtatanim ng mulberry trees, silkworm cultivation, to unraveling the cocoons into the filaments that become the thread with which we come up with the fabric, and in transforming this fabric into something of higher value than the raw material
In this regard, I would like to commend the PTRI for striving to do more than their mandate requires of them As some of our friends from PTRI will recall, I was able to visit some of the areas our country that are involved with silk production. I witnessed how silkworms are cultivated in the Silkworm Breeding and Multiplication Facility in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, in 2017. I also visited the Negros Sericulture Project, which is done in partnership with Japan’s Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA). I was also able to touch base with the Abai Weavers Multi-purpose Cooperative in Laguindingan, the famed producers of Mindanao Silk.
I have seen how our agencies involved with revitalizing the silk industry are squeezing every ounce of effort to provide solutions to address the various issues that hound silk production in our country, such as low production and manufacturing capacity and even the threat of climate change.
Asahan po ninyo na as a member of the legislature. I will continue to champion your cause of making the silk industry a vibrant and sustainable industry that spurs rural development.
Pagtutulungan po natin para makakalap tayo ng sapat na pondo nang makagawa tayo ng silk production hubs sa Luzon, Visayas, at Mindanao. I believe that doing so would radically bring down the cost of production—hindi na kailangan ng inter-island transport para makumpleto ang proseso ng paggawa. Bukod pa rito, matutugunan natin ang pangangailangan ng marami sa ating mga kababayan para sa disenteng trabaho na magiging daan sa mas magandang antas ng kanilang pamumuhay.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Silk is of such high value that it has merited a network of trade routes being named after it, the Silk Road. Our grand vision for silk production in the country is this—that all roads will lead to our country when it comes to this precious commodity.
I hope that this year’s summit will provide keys to unlocking our potential as a leading silk producer.
Marami pong salamat. Mabuhay kayong lahat!