To commemorate the transfer of the operational control and management of the Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Center (RYPIC) from the Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) to the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U), a turnover ceremony was held on May 24, 2022. The celebration came after the signing of the Technology Transfer Agreement between DOST-PTRI and ISAT U on January 27, 2022.
The event commenced with the unveiling of the RYPIC Iloilo marker led by DOST Sec. Fortunato T. de la Peña, Dr. Raul F. Muyong (ISAT U), Dir. Celia B. Elumba (DOST-PTRI), Engr. Rowen R. Gelonga (DOST Region VI), Ms. Noreen C. Bautista (Panublix) and Hon. Macario N. Napulan (LGU-Miagao). Also present were RYPIC Iloilo partners, weavers, media, and other government agencies and officials. This was followed by a brief tour inside the RYPIC facility where RYPIC yarns and finished products were on display.
“I must say I was a skeptic about putting up this kind of business operation”, Secretary de la Peña shared during the program. “But when I first saw the setup in 2019, I was fully convinced that this is essential for our country.” He highlighted how the project is reviving an industry that was once considered a sunset industry and how its innovations and technologies are setting the stage for regional empowerment and global competitiveness. He also mentioned how the RYPIC concurs with the government’s agenda to promote rural and value chain development and invest in human capital development.
Director Elumba likewise shared the story behind the RYPIC, a product of profound valuation of the purpose of the Institute. She noted how through science and extensive research, technologies have been developed that bank on the resources of our country. She emphasized how development starts small, and how through the will and enthusiasm of the RYPIC partners, the RYPIC became a success. “It takes a village, a community of collaborators who share the same vision, the same values, and the same goals,” Director Elumba remarked, that DOST-PTRI’s advocacy of textiles empowering lives anew came to fruition.
The symbolic turnover of the key was followed by Dr. Muyong’s acceptance message where he expressed his gratitude to DOST-PTRI for entrusting the RYPIC with ISAT U. He affirmed ISAT U’s commitment to ensuring the sustainability of the RYPIC and to continue with its mission of promoting and preserving Miagao's rich cultural heritage, its handloom weaving industry. He closed his speech by stating that “above all, the RYPIC will continue to make a difference in the lives of Filipinos and society.”
Other key stakeholders who gave their messages of commitment to continuously support the RYPIC include DTI- Iloilo Director Rebecca Rascon, incumbent Miagao Mayor Macario Napulan, Mayor-elect Oscar Garin, and Panublix founder Ms. Noreen Bautista.
Also marking the continuation of the RYPIC from Iloilo to Isabela was the Paghahabi ng TELA Pilipinas where representatives from ISAT U, DOST-PTRI, DOST Region VI, and the Isabela State University (ISU) weaved indigenous fabrics from Miagao and Isabela.
The event was capped off with a fashion walk by ISAT U students who showcased their creative concepts. The highlight of the show was the fashion walk of ISAT U faculty members who graced the stage in corporate apparel crafted from RYPIC yarns.
“We are very fortunate at Isabela State University to be following the lead of President Muyong.” ISU President Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino said during his message, as he marveled at the success of the RYPIC in Miagao. He shared that ISAT U and ISU are collaborating on the development of a textile technology and engineering program to establish manpower for this industry. Similarly, Engr. Rowen Gelonga expressed his gratitude to all stakeholders in his closing remarks. He especially thanked Secretary de la Peña for his massive support, believing in the potential of the regions, and putting investment into actual action.
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