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In an effort to revive the Philippine weaving industry and provide livelihood opportunities for local weaving communities, DTI key officials, led by Secretary Ramon Lopez and Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona, met with Cabinet Secretaries’ and Congressional Spouses last March 2, 2020 at the Heroes Hall of the Malacañang Palace to present samples of native woven textiles from across the country and to propose a project that will aid and promote Filipino weavers.

The meeting was initiated by Madame Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña, through the Office of the President. The project was birthed from a previous dialogue with Madame Avaceña and DTI officials, including selected DTI Regional Directors, last February 26, 2020.

The project, with the working title “MODA: Modernong Obra, Disenyong Atin”, will be championed by the One Town, One Product (OTOP) Program, under the leadership of Assistant Secretary Demphna Du Naga. The word “MODA” is a Filipino term which means “fashion”.

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The MODA project will focus on two components – a showcase of designed wearables made from natively woven textiles and a sustainable marketing space to display featured hand and loom woven fabrics for prospective buyers.

Cabinet Secretaries’ and Congressional Spouses lauded the initiative and echoed the call for increased patronage for weaving communities. OTOP, through DTI Regional Offices, will be coordinating with local governments and the Cabinet Secretaries’ and Congressional Spouses Group, through the Office of the President, to reach these weaving communities and monitor the progress being made in the project. Further meetings will be taking place leading up to the completion of the project by July 2020.

This effort aims to kickstart the series of initiatives that could place the local weaving industry in the frontlines of Philippine fashion, arts, and commerce. The MODA project also hopes to encourage younger generations to keep native crafts alive and relevant in an ever-changing world. ♦

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Date of Release: 5 March 2020