The Civil Service Commission (CSC) is set to launch the amended Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9242, or the Philippine Tropical Fabrics (PTF) Law, which prescribes the use of Philippine tropical fabrics for official uniforms of government officials and employees, on 30 August 2023.

Expected to attend are officials and representatives of the PTF Inter-Agency Technical Working Group (TWG) composed of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI), the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (DA-PhilFIDA), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Senator Loren B. Legarda, the principal author of the law, shall deliver a message of support.

“This amendment is a product of our consultative efforts and deliberations aimed at promoting and supporting the local textile industry and instilling patriotism among civil servants. The CSC is proud to spearhead this initiative,” said CSC Chairperson Karlo Nograles.

Signed on 10 February 2004, the PTF Law requires all eligible government officials and employees who receive a clothing allowance for office uniforms to utilize Philippine Tropical Fabrics for their official attire and for fabric-related needs in government offices and functions. There may be exceptions permitted for specific requirements, such as firefighter uniforms, sports attire, bulletproof vests, etc., in cases where the properties and standards of tropical fabrics do not meet the necessary criteria.

Under the law, tropical fabrics are defined as "those containing natural fibers produced, spun, woven or knitted, and finished in the Philippines". The term “natural textile fibers” encompasses a variety of fibers or filaments derived from plants or vegetables. As per the amended IRR, these fibers include but are not limited to abaca, banana, pineapple, silk, and bamboo. Together, these fibers form the natural components of the PTF.

However, the 2021 report evaluating the law's implementation indicated the necessity for a review of the current IRR. This review aims to tackle two main issues: first, the reported non-availability of PTF as highlighted by end-users (government agencies); and second, the limited number of suppliers capable of meeting the standards set by the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) tests, as mentioned by fabric suppliers.

In coordination with the PTF TWG, the CSC spearheaded the review of the IRR, which involved inter-agency consultative meetings with stakeholders from the private sector representing various companies/organizations in the PTF Industry.

“We faced challenges that delayed the full implementation of the original IRR. But we are positive that the changes in the IRR, as a result of the consultations we have done, would result in greater compliance and cooperation among government agencies,” said Chairperson Nograles.

During the launch, CSC Assistant Commissioner and Head of the Inter-Agency TWG, Atty. Ariel G. Ronquillo, is set to present the salient provisions of the Amended IRR of the PTF Law, while CSC Chairperson Nograles and CSC Commissioners Aileen Lourdes A. Lizada and Ryan Alvin R. Acosta will present a copy of the Amended IRR to Senator Legarda.