Oriental Mindoro LGU, other gov’t agencies forge MOA to bring Mangyan ethnic products upgrade

POSTED: Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

CALAPAN CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Design Center Center of the Philippines (DCP) and the municipal government of Bulalacao in Oriental Mindoro has recently entered into an agreement which hopes to bring the much-needed product innovation programs to Mangyan ethnic crafts in the southern part of the said province.

The memorandum of agreement (MOA), entered by DTI represented by its provincial director Oscar M. Agbay, DCP Executive Director Myrna M. Sunico, and Mayor Jose Ildefonso Maliwanag of the municipality of Mansalay, focused on the pre-training needs assessment in the prototype development of Mangyan ethnic crafts such as Ramit-Accented Tote Bags, Bracelets and Welcome Lei and other products for the said town.

Ramit is a local term used by Mangyan which is equivalent to clothes.

Included in the MOA is the conduct of on-site visits and assessment by two DCP designers of existing raw materials in the locality. Existing products were also assessed for possible improvement.

Three Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of Mansalay participated in the activity, namely: the B-Hapi, Inc. for the ramit, basketry and beadworks; Sta. Brigida Water Lily Handicrafts Producers for water lily mats, baskets and slippers; and Mansalay Corn-based Scientist-Farmers Association for anabu-based shawls, table runner and placemats. They were included in the pre-training needs assessments activity, which was undertaken by the combined forces of DTI, DCP and Mansalay LGU.

According to Agbay, the product innovation program also includes trends and product forecasting, concept presentation and prototype development and evaluation of product designs.

And with this innovative program of the government, the remaining preserved culture or crafts of the Mangyans, the indigenous people of Mindoro Island, will not only be remained pristine but also will be introduced into world-class ethnic products. (By JUANCHO R. MAHUSAY)

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