The legacy of hand-woven textiles emanated from the Philippine ancestral tribes, as part of their culture and family handed down from generation to generation. While it is an ancient tradition, its intent as a livelihood activity has waned among the new generation in favor of foreign employment and industrial labor. Thus, handloom weaving is now considered a vanishing craft because of its specialized and time-consuming techniques cannot meet the demands of commercial production. Moreover, prices of handloom products are significantly more expensive than machine-produced materials (PTRI, 2016).
The same predicament was experienced in the southern Cebu municipality of Argao, based on the needs assessment research by CTU-Argao Graduate School (2013) in the weaving communities in the locality. And because of this stage of decline the weavers were becoming smaller in number and risked slow demise, due to lack of the demand and unsustainable income for their families. Thus handloom weaving industry has not only lost its market niche, but also, as time goes by, the people’s awareness of this cultural heritage. The attempt to address all these disturbing predicaments, a set of intervention strategies is capsulized and articulated in this project. Based on the previous intervention of the academe, CTU Argao to bridge the gaps and eliminate barriers of the weaving community to maximize their marketability and then eventually income, it proved to greatly augment their quality of living, they were able to increase their household income, support their children in school and even college,etc. It is best to directly address the most prevalent problem that leads to poverty in both economic and cultural aspects of the community. Thus it is proposed to conduct beginner and advanced training to increase the workforce, as well as improve the quality and productivity of the existing weavers. Moreover, stronger thrust in marketing, branding, and product development, which might improve sales and then create a more stable and solid market niche. Lastly, for the continuity and sustainability of the weaving community, they will be empowered towards self-governance, management, and independence from the academe. However, it is not enough to mainstream the handloom weaving industry and augment the weavers’ income. For a holistically sustainable community, economic status is just one of the factors to consider, thus, concrete intervention to promote cultural (installation of heritage center) and environmental conservation and development (use of organic material resources, green management practices and zero waste management) is also an important aspect of the project.
To provide logistical and technical support to the very few existing wavers
To provide training to the academe and local community on the weaving craftsmanship
To provide a forum and opportunity for the promotion and market of the industry’s products, both locally and internationally
To develop a system in order to ensure economic sustainability and poverty alleviation
To forge partnerships with other government and non-government entities in order to enhance and augment the logistical and technical capabilities especially in the raw material supply, production and operations, and marketing of products.
To initiate parallel micro-enterprise programs and related communities for sustainable availability and source of livelihood, (ex. Sewing, painting, finishing, raw materials processing, etc.)
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