Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario G. Montejo expressed his warmest greetings to the Philippine Textile Research Institute’s (PTRI) 48th founding anniversary which is timed on the month of January (January 29, 2014) in collaboration of the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Month.

This is an appropriate occasion to bring together various players and stakeholders in textile, garments and allied sectors at the DOST-PNRI’s DOST Executive Lounge, in Taguig City, said Montejo.

He believes that through the union of traditions and scientific technologies, our products will find their very own niches to effectively compete in the high values added sector.

He gave as an example the significant improvement in the quality and productivity of our textile products, our neo-ethnic fabrics which is the result of the convergence of culture and science.

The science community on the same premise develops smart textiles of photocatalytic indigenous fiber-based materials that have functionalities such as self-cleaning, UV-protection and antimicrobial properties, he stressed on.

Another breakthrough potential is the development of abaca-reinforced nonwoven composites that has applications in automotives, home and office furnishings, and special architectural structures. These PTRI-developed technologies and products are truly smart and Philippine made.

Secretary Montejo also said that when he first met PTRI as Secretary of DOST in 2011, he challenged PTRI to dream, strategize and strive even harder so that their work will translate into DOST outcomes that will provide smarter solutions for smarter Philippines.

As an aside, the DOST has committed to Eight Outcomes encompassing all S&T initiatives covering: Agriculture, Small Medium Enterprise (SMEs), Industry, Information Technology and Business Process Management, Government Service, Healthcare, Human Resource Development, and Climate Change, Weather, and Geological Hazard Evaluation and Mitigation as concrete means in accelerating national development.

PTRI in particular contributes to these outcomes specifically for the Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the industries. He said that last year, the DOST committed P52M towards the rehabilitation of the PTRI’s Pilot Facility. This should proceed to provide much lacking indigenous yarn supply to our various textile communities, he said.

PTRI is the only accredited testing laboratory in the Philippines as to the provision of technical and testing services to the geotextile and geosynthetic industry, he emphasized.

“For this, I commend PTRI for their unwavering commitment and dedication to service and I continue to challenge them to exert their full capability to assist our friends from the industries and allies fields so that together we will be in a place where we want Philippine Textiles to be”, said Montejo.

The decline of our local textile industry for about three decades now, thousands of Filipino families were affected in the closure of big textile mills in the country which have the highest revenue and employment in the manufacturing sector, he also said.

He acknowledged and saluted the remaining companies which are still rallying, still believing that there is hope for the local textile industry.

He rest assured that DOST and PTRI are rallying with them, willing and eager to provide them with technical support and assistance with hope that their dream for a smart textiles and smarter Philippines will come into reality.

“I would like to call for stronger partnerships and collaborations in pursuing our common goals for a Smarter Philippine Textiles through Science, Technology, and Innovation. With the presence of stakeholders in government, academe, non-government organizations and the private sector, today’s conference is a timely platform in discussing the issues and concerns of the Philippine textile industry, particularly those that could give impetus for growth and promotion in Philippine textiles,” the Secretary stressed on.

The PTRI is the lead textile research and development agency of the DOST. The institute is dedicated to transferring technologies and rendering technical services that aid the country’s textile and allied industries to achieve global competitiveness by promoting the use of indigenous resources and developing technical competence in textile production and quality assurance. (PSciJourn MegaManila)