THE Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) said it is seeking a P600 million budget for 2019 to pursue its development and marketing initiatives for the industry.
In a mobile message, Kennedy T. Costales, PhilFIDA Executive Director, said: “DA has an approved 2019 budget of P122 billion compared to P56 billion last year. We hope we in PhilFIDA will be given at least P600 million.
PhilFIDA oversees the abaca, coir, salago, buntal, raffia, piña, canton, kapok, sintal, kenaf, cotton, sabahon, maguey, tikog, tikog, yunot and silk fiber industries.
Asked how the P600 million will be used, Mr. Costales said the spending priorities are the Abaca Tuxy Buying Special Project for 10 cooperatives, sericulture projects in Benguet, as well as the development of the cotton, sisal, jute, maguey, salago, buri and piña industries.
Mr. Costales said that PhilFIDA needs P10 million to support sericulture, or silk farming, in Benguet. He earlier announced that PhilFIDA backed out from the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Japan’s Organization for Industrial Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA) as the latter wanted to buy silk at P200 per kilo.
Mr. Costales said that this would give farmers only P68.49 in daily income.
“We only need P10 million worth of government support and our sericulture industry in Benguet will thrive as we already have the filature facility to produce raw silk. We will be the one to market it for our sericulture farmers,” Mr. Costales said. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio