The Department of Trade and Industry-Region 02 successfully held the 1st Cagayan Valley Wearables and Homestyle Industry Forum on August 17, 2018 at the DTI-02 Regional Negosyo Center, Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan which was participated in by approximately 70 stakeholders of the industry cluster.

Aptly themed “Reshaping Lives, Designing the Future”, the pacesetter activity shed more light to the bright prospects of the industry which is one of the highest contributors to the socio-economic performance of the region.

DTI-02 Regional Director Ruben B. Diciano underscored in his message that the industry posed more than 150 million pesos sales in 2017 and generated additional 1,500 jobs based on the performance monitoring of DTI alone.

The informative forum was graced by prominent players of the industry in the national level. Mr. Romeo P. Balderrama Jr, President of the Philippine Homestyle and Holiday Décor Association (PHHLDA) talked about the Opportunities and Challenges of the Gifts, Holiday and Décor Sector. On the other hand, Mr. Salvio L. Valenzuela Jr., Executive Director of the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines Inc., discussed the prospects of the Furniture and Furnishing Sector and the recent developments in the Philippine Furniture Roadmap. Both speakers inspired the regional stakeholders by informing them of the great export demand for quality and competitive products. The Speakers expressed their interest and commitment to accommodate the industry players from Region 02.

Ms. Myrna C. Bituin, trustee of the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc., delivered an inspirational talk highlighting her journey towards becoming an exporter in the non-food industry. She emphasized the importance of collaboration and of creating and sustaining harmonious relationships not only with fellow players but foremost with buyers and customers.

Ms. Rowe Arquejo, a veteran designer and Senior Design Specialist of the Design Center of the Philippines, shared the latest design trends across the world which every aspiring Wearables and Homestyle MSME should consider to penetrate larger markets. She reminded everyone that in every design, there should be a purpose and the market should be clearly defined.

Sustainability remains a major concern of the industry. Miss Corazon Mabborang, Chief of the Forestry Utilization Section of DENR-Region 02, discussed the pertinent laws on sourcing and transportation of wood-based products. She urged the players to comply with these regulations for the sake of the present and future generations.

The activity concluded with the organization of the. Ms. Emilia Fernandez, owner of the Maddela Fossilized Flowers and Crafts from Cagayan Valley Wearables and Homestyle Industry Council Quirino, was elected as Chairperson of the Council. Meanwhile, two sub-cluster teams were also created: one for the Furniture Sector, chaired by Engr. Ronald Maddawin of Vicky’s Furniture Shop in Isabela, and one for the GHD Sector, chaired by Ms. Theresa Lee of Clockwise Crafts in the same province.

With linkages in the national level and stronger inter-firm collaboration through the organized clusters, a bright future for the Wearables and Homestlye Industry is guaranteed and a better quality of life among stakeholders in the region is assured.