A community in the municipality of Miagao in Iloilo is a recipient of a convergence project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U), boosting its weaving industry that serves as a source of livelihood for women of Barangay Baraclayan.

The community on Tuesday, April 30, inaugurated its newly improved weaving facility, one of the components of the Natural Fiber and Textile Development Initiatives, funded through the DOST grants-in-aid program worth around P5 million.

“This is one of our many initiatives to strengthen our fiber industry not only in Miagao or in Iloilo but the whole of Western Visayas,” DOST Regional Director Rowen Gelonga said in a press conference.

Baraclayan barangay captain Marlou Niones said the center can help uplift the livelihood of the people in their village, as they now have a venue where they can work and consolidate their products.

“Through this, we hope we will no longer have out-of-school youths and each family will have a better future,” Niones said. 

He said that in a day, each weaver can complete a maximum of eight meters depending on the expertise. 

Among their produce are shawls, table runners, garlands or lei, cloth for barong, and dresses, among others.

Miagao Mayor Richard Garin said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provided them with 100 wooden handlooms  which they distributed to their eight weaving communities.

The local government is eyeing to purchase sewing machines to complement the facility and for weavers to also engage in ready-to-wear production and not just focus on weaving.

The weaving center will complement the operation of the Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Center (RYPIC) established inside the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) Miagao campus in 2019 to produce yarns made of local materials like cotton, piña, and other farm output of farmers.

Yarns produced at the RYPIC are supplied to loom weavers, including Baraclayan and seven other weaving communities in Miagao.

ISAT U also serves as the implementing partner of the DOST for the Natural Fiber and Textile Development Initiatives as part of their extension activities.

ISAT U president Dr. Gabriel Salistre Jr. said they are trying to expand their raw materials where they have suppliers from as far as the town of Lemery and Passi City so they can outsource their possible source of raw materials.Perla Lena/PNA