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BONTOC, Mountain Province – Rep. Maximo Y. Dalog, Jr. called on the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to conduct an investigation on the alleged proliferation of the selling of alleged imitations of machine-printed textiles that are considered copycat of the various weaving or ‘inabel’ designs of the Cordillera.
In his letter to NCIP Chairman Allen Capuyan that was coursed through NCIP-CAR Acting Regional Director Atty. Marlon Bosantog, the lawmaker disclosed that Avelyn Lomas-e Calag, who reportedly established the Cordilleran Inabel Shop in Baguio City, discovered that machine-printed textiles are allegedly being vended at the Tiong San Bazaar and 5 Cents Up, all located in the city’s central business district area, and in other online shops that prompted her to call the attention of Easter Weaving, Inc., the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and other local officials in the Cordillera, including various weaving groups and industries to make a firm stand against the blatant piracy of the weaving designs of the region.
“The imitation and selling of the machine-printed textiles is truly insulting and has desecrated and exploited the unique weaving heritage of the Cordillera which was passed on to us by our great forebears as a precious heirloom. These imitations and copycats do not understand the underlying meanings of our indigenous woven fabrics within the context of our culture,” Rep. Dalog stressed.
The first-term lawmaker pointed out that home to 110 ethno-linguistic indigenous cultural communities, ‘we have intellectual property rights over our weaving designs which demonstrated the existence and identity of the Cordillerans as a people tracing our roots to our respective tribes and ancestral past.’
According to him, the proliferation of the imitations of the various weaving designs from the cordillera and the subsequent selling of the same in commercial establishments is said to be alarming, thus, the need for the NCIP to immediately initiate the necessary measures to ban or put a stop on the circulation and the commercialization of the so-called ‘fake inabel’ products that tend to malign the culture and traditions of the Cordillerans.
Congressman Dalog asserted that the immediate prohibition of the circulation and selling of the machine-printed textiles copying the traditional woven designs will certainly help in revitalizing the region’s lucrative weaving industry, especially the small-time weavers who rely solely on weaving as their source of livelihood.
Aside from the NCIP, Dalog also called on other concerned agencies to facilitate the immediate withdrawal of the ‘fake inabel’ products from the various establishments inside and outside of the Cordillera to pave the way for the wavers to be able to start recovering from the heavy impact of the prevailing Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 pandemic to their established sources of livelihood.
He also proposed that n in-depth investigation be conducted to ascertain those responsible for the proliferation of the fake enable’ products for them to be appropriately charged before the proper forum so that they will be meted whatever punishment commensurate for their illegal act of producing fake products from the traditional woven designs of the region.