A group of Korean businessmen led by Simon Bake and Philop Park visited Provincial Governor Yevgeny "Bambi" Emano last Wednesday, February 22, to express their intent in helping develop potential projects of the Provincial Government as they are set to pour a multi-million peso investment to businesses in Misamis Oriental, one of which is the booming silk industry.
Nicole Managbanag, Provincial Information Officer, said that the Korean businessmen are not only looking at investing in the silk industry but also in the province's health, infrastructure, and agriculture sectors.
Managbanag said that the province is now fast-tracking the planting of mulberry trees, the silkworm's preferred food. The province is planning to replicate the planting of the said tree not only in Villanueva town but to the rest of the municipalities of Misamis Oriental as well.
The demand for Mindanao silk has increased since President Rodrigo Duterte himself chose a barong made of Mindanao silk to wear at his inauguration last year.
It is also one of Duterte's mandates and plans that all government uniforms in the future be made of silk.
According to Managbanag, long-term goal is the establishment of a silkworm plant, complete with the machinery to supply a bigger market.
A technical group has already been formed, led by The Provincial Government, and Department of Tourism-Northern Mindanao regional director Marie Elaine Unchuan said that they are looking at innovating a new image of Mindanao silk like incorporating tribal or lumad designs to the silk cloth.
With the Presidentâ€™s support to revive Mindanao silk, they take advantage of that support, before itâ€™s a dying industry but today itâ€™s been given a lot of attention. With Presidentâ€™s help, they will go a long way in promoting this industry.
The province, with the Department of Trade and Industry, will also be expanding the silk-weaving communities in other municipalities, not only in Laguindingan, but also in Claveria, Gingoog, Balingasag, particularly in the hinterland areas.
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