Against a backdrop of a fast-changing globalized world, the challenge is: how do we promote, preserve and sustain the many weaving methods deeply rooted in the Filipino culture? How do we support talented weavers, our culture-bearers, and encourage them to continue weaving and to pass on their expertise and art to the next generation?
During my first term in the Senate, I authored the Tropical Fabrics Law, a measure that intends to promote our natural fabrics through the use of such materials for the official uniforms of government officials and employees, and in the process, support the local fiber industry.
The strengthening of the tropical fabrics industry is attuned to our advocacy of promoting sustainable development and preserving our rich heritage. It will also provide jobs needed in the countryside.
In the National Museum, we have established the first permanent textile gallery in the country, the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino gallery where we also hold the Lecture Series on Philippine Traditional Textiles and Indigenous Knowledge.
We have also provided support for our Schools of Living Traditions and weaving communities. But what our weaving communities, local textile producers and related industries greatly need are our sustained efforts through long-term government programs.