Textile industry players are pushing for the implementation of a law prescribing the use of tropical fabrics with an aim to revive the country’s textile industry.
“If we rely on locally produced fabrics, the textiles industry will survive. What we really need (is) a strong political will to enforce the law,” said Robert Young, trustee for textile, yarn and fabric sector of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT).
Young was referring to Republic Act 9242, or the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law “An act prescribing the use of the Philippine tropical fabrics for uniforms of public officials and employees and for other purposes”.
He noted the law’s implementation would translate to over 1.3 million metric tons of extracted tropical fabric, excluding cotton.
Young, also president of the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP), has been supporting efforts to revive the textile industry amid a record high global consumption last year.
Citing J Style Global Research, UK, he said key markets such as United States, Brazil, Russia, India and China are in need of four billion meters of denim fabric until 2020.
Young recalled that the export of garments reached its peak during the early ‘80s, but later companies resorted to importing all their textile due to the tax-free importation instead of utilizing the local textiles.
“Eventually, this was abused by selling around 30 to 40 percent of the textiles to the local market coupled with the rampant smuggling by independent importers. And so the end of the Textile Era,” he added.