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PIA Press Release

Feature: ComVal, new jewelry capital soon

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (16 November) -- The seat of Philippines' gold and other minerals, Compostela Valley Province is now capitalizing on their biggest natural resource to become the next jewelry capital of the country.

Comval governor Arturo Chionkee Uy envisions this goal to find full realization by 20 years. However, as early as now the provincial official started convening major stakeholders to hold consultation talks and find out possible ways to reach this target.

Uy wanted to change the image of the province from a mere source of gold and minerals to a province that produces the best quality jewelry that can make a name for Comval in the whole world.

The official believed that embracing this kind of image is beneficial to the province and its people. The natural resource, in this case, is not just maximized by a few rich capitalists but would also broaden employment opportunities to other Comval residents.

Uy stressed that the province will not just limit on the extraction of gold and other minerals but will also tap income-generating activities that would employ more and more Comvalenos.

"It wouldn't be simple, I know. It took 20 years for Bulacan to finally establish a name in jewelry-making. But we wondered how they were able to do it when in fact the place lacks mineral source. They would have to buy gold from us here in Comval," he said.

This has pushed the provincial government to give jewelry-making a try and make it the brand name of the province. In terms of resources, it will never be a problem in the province since the bulk of raw materials needed are already produced in most towns of Compostela Valley.

A Comval Jewelry-Making Task Force was already created by the governor that involved some government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Science and Technology, and other local government offices.

"I have already allotted a budget for this particular concern and most of the activities that we will be holding next year are mostly on technology transfer," Uy said.

House Representative Manual Way Kurat Zamora already sent two experts for a jewelry-making training and both of them will be the key trainers for the series of jewelry-making trainings that will be conducted early next year.

At the moment, only very few people get to maximize this vast resources through jewelry-making. Only the Diwalwal Artisan Entrepreneurs Cooperative is the sole organization that has found a niche in this industry.

Uy envisions more and more jewelry-producing companies within the next 20 years since he has made this industry a top priority in his administration. (PIA) [top]

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