Pampanga gov vows to boost multi-billion furniture industry PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 10:16

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga -- Governor Lilia G. Pineda has vowed to help boost the multi-billion local and export furniture industry in the province.

Pineda said the furniture industry is one of the important keys in generating more jobs and employment for her constituents and would help strengthen the local economy.

This developed as the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP), Pampanga Chapter led by its President, Remigio L. Lastimoso paid a courtesy call on Monday to the governor as a way to get her support for the industry.

After a brief meeting, both Pineda and the furniture makers look forward to a productive partnership towards giving the furniture industry and the local economy a big boost.

With this, the governor committed to set up a showroom where the CFIP members could display their products.

“We shall find an appropriate location and set it up as a decent and attractive venue where you could showcase your beautiful and quality furniture pieces,” she told the CFIP.

Lastimoso and his group expressed elation over the governor’s commitment, adding that a showroom would help attract buyers, strengthen the local market and revive the weakened export market.

"We have a very productive meeting with the governor who expressed a desire to have a stronger government and private sector partnership for the furniture industry," he said.

The governor said Pampanga is known for its beautifully crafted furniture pieces and it needs all the support it can get from the provincial government.

“A closer tie-up between us would result in generating employment for our cabalens and a stronger economy for the province,” she said.

She asked Lastimoso and his group to conduct continuous training programs to upgrade the skills of local designers, carpenters, weavers and other workers in the industry.

The CFIP is holding design competitions particularly among local schools, technical and vocational schools to give young students an early exposure to commercial furniture designing.

At present, Lastimoso said they have been getting projects that include the production of furnishings for residences, hotels, restaurants, resorts and other institutions.

He revealed that the CFIP Pampanga chapter is composed of 55 companies. His company, Country Accents, being one of them.

“We employ a total of 150 people per company and we have at least 10,000 employees, suppliers, sub-contractors and other stakeholders in the local furniture industry,” he said.

He also declared that the furniture industry in the province alone is a multi-billion business covering machineries, production, properties, among others.

“Even a small scale furniture maker would have at least P15 million worth of property, while bigger companies would definitely cost higher,” he added.

However, Lastimoso lamented the downturn in the furniture industry caused earlier by the global recession and now compounded by the strong showing of the peso against the US dollar.

Thus, the demand for local furniture abroad has plunged down and this has led them to focus on the local market, he said.

“Our production used to be 70 percent for the foreign market and 30 percent for local buyers. Now, the ratio is 60% for the local market and 40 for export,” he added.

According to him, they do furniture collections including complete home furnishings, accessories, lightings and the like.

With the support of the provincial government, the CFIP is optimistic that they could boost the local market and bounce back from their losses.