THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) held the National Textile Convention also known as TELACon at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on January 30-31, this year.

This is part of the 2024 Philippine Tropical Fabrics (PTF) Month with the theme ‘Spinning Innovations.’ The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Textile Research Institute presented the ‘TELACon.’

The TELACon which centered on textile science, gathered experts, researchers, and industry professionals with the aim of exploring  textile science, fostering discussions on research, technological breakthroughs and sustainable practices within the PTF domain.

The event served as a platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange, advancing the nation’s textile industry in scientific understanding and practical applications.

Every January yearly, the nation celebrates Philippine Tropical Fabrics Month through Proclamation 313, Series of 2012. The annual observance is a testament to the country’s commitment to promoting natural textiles, advancing local industries and creating livelihood opportunities.

DOST Secretary, Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr., who virtually welcomed everybody to the event, said that “DOST through the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) is designated in its contribution to lead and discuss to ensure that the essential research of the judicious utilization of local natural fibers shall be continued and that meaningful activities to properly celebrate the tropical fabrics month.”

On the other hand, Senate President Pro Tempore, Sen. Loren Legarda, who was the keynote speaker and whose message was read by DOST undersecretary for Research and Development, Leah J. Buendia, said that the “gathering is part of our commitment to integrate small strides into impactual solutions, foster collaborations and encourage conversations to propel our nation’s rich textile heritage to greater heights. This national convention is rooted in recognition of the significance of Republic Act 9242, the Philippine Tropical Fabrics law, a measure I principally authored and co-sponsored.”

Meanwhile, DOST-PTRI Director IV, Dr. Julius L. Leano Jr. said that this year’s convention centered on bamboo as new fabric material. He considered the event as a “family gathering,” sharing the same vision for the industry. “It’s the light at the end of the tunnel.”

The DOST-PTRI also had a meaningful collaboration with its stakeholders and one notable partnership that stands out is the Philippine Combatex initiative, Philippine Camouflage optical, mechanical ballistic and armoured textiles.

In the same occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DOST-PTRI and Dela Salle College of St. Benilde was signed. It’s a formal commencement of their collaborative effort.  

The university was represented by Chancellor Benhur Ong. The aim is to collaborate on education initiative and research endeavors, with the goal of advancing scholarship and enriching the academic experience for students and faculty alike. The ceremony marks the beginning of a journey that will yield valuable contributions to the academic community.

Under the theme “Spinning Innovations,” this year’s celebration signifies a commitment to integrating small strides into impactful solutions, fostering collaborations, and encouraging conversations. Building upon the momentum of the previous year’s theme, “Pushing Boundaries,” “Spinning Innovations” emphasizes science, technology, and innovation to reshape the textile industry sustainably.

Engr. Sancho Mabborang, DOST undersecretary for regional operations, delivered the keynote address. He said that the convention brings about an evolution of the Philippine textile industry as an emerging leader in the global textile market.

“The passage of RA 9242 in 2003 emphasized the importance of global textile by prescribing the use of Philippine tropical fabrics for official uniforms for government officials and employees….”  

The 2024 PTF month features various activities such as program and facility launches, engaging dialogues, exhibitions, and textile conventions, offering a comprehensive look at advancements, innovation, and collaboration within the textile industry among stakeholders. (Nelson Santos)