Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña has cited the Philippine Textile Research Institute’s  (PTRI) “invaluable” contributions to the country’s textile economy.

“I commend the Institute’s invaluable work in textile research, development and innovation and the services it provides to the industry and to the Philippine textile economy as a whole,” he said in his message during this year’s Textile Stakeholders Conference held Wednesday, January 27.

He said the PTRI went beyond the development and deployment of its relevant technologies during the very early days of the pandemic amid the challenging lockdowns in the first quarter of 2020.

“The Institute has continued to provide technical and scientific advice in the continuing development of facemask and protective wear for community use,” he said.

Dela Peña cited that the PTRI successfully mobilized the support of private-sector partners for its Quick Response Project on the Development and Production of ReWear Face Masks that paved way for the delivery of some 600,000 pieces of re-usable, washable and re-wearable masks to the national government agencies through the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD).

“PTRI had creatively crafted its every move to deliver on its mandate and ensure that this extends to the regions by providing them with the capacity to produce and innovate on yarns, using raw materials available to them, for the production of textiles by  the many weavers and artisans in the locality and at the same time, promote the conservation of the rich culture and tradition of the region,” he said.

The DOST-PTRI is spearheading the month-long celebration of the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Month this January as declared by Proclamation 313 issued by Malacañang to promote Filipino textile products.

During the conference, Dela Peña called for “stronger partnerships and collaboration” among government and private  institutions to make the country’s textile and its allied industries competitive,  catalyze textile manufacture in the country, and improve people’s lives.

“Philippine textiles exemplify the finest example of how science, art and culture are translated into products, technologies and solutions catalyzing a resilient, inclusive and sustainable creative textile economy,” he said.