The Civil Service Commission (CSC) launched the amended Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9242 or the Philippine Tropical Fabrics (PTF) Law on 30 August 2023 in Quezon City.

The legislation mandates the use of PTF for the official uniforms of government officials and employees.

CSC Chairperson Karlo Nograles spearheaded the occasion, accompanied by fellow members of the Inter-Agency Technical Working Group (TWG), which includes representatives from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Agriculture (DA). The event also enjoyed the presence of CSC Commissioners Aileen Lourdes Lizada and Ryan Alvin Acosta, along with representatives and officials from private stakeholders, demonstrating their solidarity and endorsement of the initiative.

“With the issuance of this IRR, we will now be enjoining all government agencies to fully support and implement this policy and renew our commitment to fulfill the intent of the law – to instill patriotism and nationalism among our people, especially public officials and employees, which can be done through the use of PTF for uniforms,” said Chairperson Nograles.

“We should do our share to contribute to our local economy and empower our country’s fiber and textile industries,” he continued.

Dr. Julius L. Leaño Jr., Director IV of the DOST Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), introduced the concept of "Filipinnovation," a comprehensive government strategy aimed at fostering inclusive innovation and advancing the Philippine Tropical Fabrics (PTF) industry. This strategy encompasses enhancements in textile fiber technology, the establishment of innovation hubs for textile fibers, and the enhancement of textile processing capabilities within the nation.

Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner Ariel G. Ronquillo of the CSC, who led both the CSC Internal TWG and the Inter-agency TWG, delved into the salient provisions of the amended IRR. The revised rules incorporate modifications to the scope of the law's implementation, updates on the definition of terms with the addition of new terms, updates regarding PTF standards and certification processes, and the incorporation of fresh requisites from DOST PTRI and DA Philippine Fiber Development Authority (PhilFIDA).

In her video message, Senator Loren B. Legarda, the principal author of the PTF Law, encouraged the Inter-Agency TWG to assist more manufacturers in complying with the procurement and certification requirements and to ensure that micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are supported.

“I encourage all agencies here to not just rely on the revised IRR to bring about the benefits of this law but to come up with a roadmap that could contain the universe of all uniforms and fabric needs of all government personnel and functions,” Senator Legarda said.

“Textiles have been present in very early civilizations. If ancient people could manufacture textiles, I see no reason why we could not encourage the formation of enterprises that can allow us to see the full implementation of this law,” she added.

For her closing remarks, CSC Commissioner Aileen Lourdes Lizada expressed optimism that the preferential use of PTF will support the revitalization of the local fiber industry.

“Today’s event is a testament that our PTF is deserving not only of the limelight in a global scale but also proudly worn every day by our civil servants. Eventually, the wearing of the PTF will not be only confined to our government employees but will become an integral part of our culture and identity as Filipinos,” she said.

Also in attendance at the event were Dr. Diana L. Ignacio, DOST Assistant Secretary for Administration and Legal Affairs; Lilian G. Salonga, Director of DTI's Competitiveness Bureau; and Atty. Genevieve E. Velicaria-Guevarra, Assistant Secretary at DA PhilFIDA.

They were accompanied by a group of industry stakeholders, including Dianne Masalunga from Medtecs International Corporation Limited, Olive Ang from Exclusive Apparel by Ms. Olive Ang, Inc., Matthew B. Lazaro, Vice President of Asia Textile Mills, Incorporated, Jose Antonio D. Olives from Weavers Textile Mills, Inc., Carissa Evangelista-Cruz, Chairperson of the Philippine Fashion Coalition, and Michael Claparols, Co-Founder of the Philippine Fashion Coalition.

The amended IRR of the PTF Law was signed by CSC Chairperson Nograles on 14 June 2023 and was promulgated through CSC Resolution No. 23000555. It was published in The Philippine Star on 17 August 2023 and took effect 15 days after its publication or on 01 September 2023.