South Cotabato pushes for expansion of jewelry-making businesses in T’boli town

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — South Cotabato is pushing for T’boli town’s thriving jewelry-making ventures to become the province’s next flagship industry.

Nencita Acain, mines and geosciences division chief of the Provincial Environment Management Office, said Thursday the provincial government is helping open more jewelry-making projects in T’boli as part of efforts to sustain the industry.

She said they have released a package of assistance to the T’boli Jewelers Association (TJA) to support its expansion.

The government completed earlier this month the construction of a two-storey building in Poblacion, T’boli that will house the new office and production center of the TJA, she said.

“This is to boost the production capability of our local goldsmiths,” the official said.

She said the building’s ground floor will host the group’s administrative office while the second level will serve as the production center for gold and silver jewelry items.

To facilitate TJA’s expansion projects, she said the provincial government also released a financial assistance of PHP350,000 through the association’s president Mary Ann Fagalas.

Acain said the mining firm, Tribal Mining Corp., has donated a kilogram of silver to the group in support of the project.

Aside from the provincial government, the official said the Department of Science and Technology has also been assisting the industry by holding training courses on jewelry-making technologies.

The initiative is supported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Trade and Industry.

Acain added that they will send a group of local goldsmiths to Bulacan province next month for capacity-building training and study tour to further enhance their workmanship in jewelry making. PNA –