Miagao, Iloilo is known for its hand-woven textile whose raw materials are grown from soil. Miagaowonons are known for their textiles, and the process of producing these products is very traditional; from harvesting raw materials until turning them into yarns, then weaving them until it turns into garments.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through its Grants-In-Aid-Program funded the Regional Yarn Production Innovation Center (RYPIC) with PHP 42-million.
In a media interview, DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña expressed that the foundation of RYPIC improves the worth of weaving industry in Miagao town, as they transform other raw materials and town’s cotton into a useful yarn.
According to Celia Elumba, director of the DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), there are positive impacts on the environment which come from production yarns in RYPIC. When clothes produced by synthetic materials are washed, it leaves microfibers in our waters. A study shows that for every liter of water, there are approximately seven to eight pieces of polyester microns, which are non-biodegradable.
Locally-grown textile materials are more favored by a large number of consumers and they tend to dislike buying fabrics which are made with polyester; this is why some weavers abroad fail to sell their products.
There were five personnel trained by DOST-PTRI to operate the center and they are also responsible for training the next generation of weavers in the said town. Placing the center in Iloilo Science and Technology University entices the youth to participate and involve themselves in the weaving industry. There is an awareness that these skills must be passed on, specially since skilled weavers of today are not getting any younger.