Cauayan City, Isabela – Putting at the forefront of R&D and innovation on bamboo for textile wearables and beyond, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 02 in collaboration with the Isabela State University (ISU) officially launched the first Bamboo Textile Fiber Innovation Hub (BTFIH) in Northern Luzon today, March 03. 2023.
The Bamboo Textile Fiber Innovation Hubs (BTFIH) are facilities that will convert bamboo fibers into spinnable form. It will also serve as the gateway towards sustainable bamboo textile production and manufacturing, given the vast bamboo plantation in the province.
The innovation hub will also feature the machine developed by a group of scientists from DOST-PTRI that can produce authentic eco-friendly bamboo textile fiber.
With a total of 1,118 hectares of bamboo plantation, the province of Isabela is a strategic location to house the BTFIH. The Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) has also mandated each municipality to establish bamboo nurseries and plantations of approximately 50 hectares to ensure the ready supply and availability of raw materials for the BTFIH.
Bamboo textiles has been included for consideration in the implementing rules for R.A. 9242 or the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law which becomes an addition to pineapple leaf, abaca, banana culm, and silk-blended fabrics for uniforms of public officials and employees and for other purposes.
Through Science, Technology and Innovation, this will enable access and availability of bamboo textile fibers to mobilize the upstream to downstream opportunities for Philippine textiles.
Moreover, one of the significant purposes of the establishment of BTFIH is to consolidate the R&D efforts on bamboo for textiles ensuring quality and responsibility.
A complete line of textile fiber treatment machinery is also deployed in the said hub to upgrade the capacity of the region to extract textile fibers from raw material sources and treat them into a higher-value textile product.
“Our innovation hub here in Cauayan will be at the forefront of developing new and exciting ways to incorporate bamboo textile fibers into various products, from clothing to industrial textiles and beyond.” DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang highlighted this in his message.
“We believe the possibilities are limitless, and we are committed to exploring all avenues to create a sustainable future for the textile industry,” he added.
DOST R02 Regional Director Dr. Virginia G. Bilgera expressed her support in the establishment of the Innovation Hub in Cagayan Valley. She also mentioned the initiatives of DOST to alleviate the gaps between the people and the industry.
“It has been our mission to leverage Science, Technology and Innovation to advance development across the board in our region. DOST R02 desires to see our visions into reality and attain development for our people.” Dr. Bilgera emphasized in her message.
This launch is also one of the government’s endeavors to encourage industrialization based on agricultural development and agrarian reform through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets.
This would also help the Philippines contribute to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG12 on sustainable consumption and production.
The establishment of the bamboo textile fiber production hub was under the project dubbed, “Integrated Community-scale Textile Fiber Innovation Hubs in Northern Luzon “funded by the DOST-GIA.