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Laguindingan silk industry aims to upgrade its resources and skills

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2017-01-18 17:00:00 – Manila

The silk industry in Laguindingan seeing rise in local demand in the recent months aims to upgrade its resources and silk weaving skills among weavers. They are looking at recruiting more silk weavers and upgrade the skills of the regular weavers to cope with the demand, said Judy Aclan, development specialist of the Department of Trade and Industry in Misamis Oriental.

Aclan admitted that after President Rodrigo Duterte tapped Mimi Pimentel to design his inaugural barong weaved by the Abai weavers, the demand has suddenly spiked.

The buyers have suddenly increased after people learned that the Laguindingan weavers weaved pure silk barong. Their market spread, many walked in and ordered, so they reached the point where they can't keep up with the demand because they are only 20.

To date, the Ayala Beneficiaries Association Incorporated (Abai) Weavers Multipurpose Cooperative has 20 weavers, of which, only 15 are active, and only two are considered "master weavers."

After the president's inauguration, a directive from the Office of the President was sent to the government line agencies in Cagayan de Oro City and was told to promote and prioritize the development of the silk industry in Misamis Oriental.

A technical working group was formed, headed by Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano, to create a strategic planning to boost the silk industry.

The short-term goal is to train and add more weavers and upgrade the skills of the regular weavers in order to cope with the demand, Aclan said.

About 20 people have expressed interest for the 15-day basic training of weaving to be conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).

Aclan said that they are also eyeing to expand weaving communities in other municipalities, not only in Laguindingan, but also in Claveria, Gingoog, Balingasag, particularly in the hinterland areas.

The long-term goal is to establish a complete value-chain in the silk industry in the city, which means the province, will acquire the machinery to supply for a bigger market

They are looking for an establishment of a silkworm farm or a plant here, just like in Bago City, Negros. Hopefully someday, they are equipped here to do the processes like moriculture, sericulture, then enhanced weaving, she said.

Financial support has also been poured out by local government officials to the Laguindigan weavers.

Governor Emano said that one of the challenges of the cooperative in silk production is the lack of resources.

Initially, the Provincial Government has extended an initial of P50,000 as financial aid to the Abai weavers for additional capital and vowed to assist the group in the infrastructure projects in the future.

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