Duterte asked to wear piña barong to save pineapple fiber industry
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said he will ask President Duterte to wear piña barong to patronize the dying pineapple fiber industry and to address the poverty of weavers.
Piñol said he will make the same request to senators and congressmen.
Duterte earlier sported pineapple fiber shoes made from abroad but using pineapple fiber from the Philippines.
Piñol recalled the time when wearing piña barong was classy, but low supply and the dwindling number of weavers resulted in the sector turning into a sunset industry.
He said the industry has also been losing its weavers to the 4Ps program which offers periodic dole-outs to poor families because of the very low income share and the eye-straining work of weaving the fine fibers.
Piñol said the Department of Agriculture will provide financing for tissue culture to produce more planting materials for the fiber industry.
He ordered the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to conduct researches to improve the Spanish Red variety “whose fruits are so small that these are just virtually thrown away during the harvesting of the leaves.”
He said improving the size and quality of the Spanish Red Pineapple fruits will give farmers additional income.