The Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport), has urged the government to revive a 2004 law on tropical fabrics that has not been implemented for more than a decade now. Also known as Republic Act 9242, the 2004 law required the government to use Philippine tropical fabrics—such as from abaca and pineapple—for the uniforms of government officials and employees.
The implementation of the law is only a baby step toward reviving the local textile industry, currently dominated by imports. The law’s implementation would translate to more than 1.3 million metric tonne of extracted tropical fabric, excluding cotton. Tropical fabrics are harvested from plants, which are then mixed with cotton in order to manufacturer textiles. These textiles are used to make garments.
A number of factors had played a part in the demise of the local textile industry, which is linked also to the fall of the local garment industry. These factors included the removal of quotas in textile and clothing trade, which scrapped the import quota allocated for these Philippine products since 1995.