FERNANDO SEEKS TO BOOST PH SHOE INDUSTRY
MARIKINA CITY – Former Marikina City Mayor and now 1st District Representative Bayani Fernando said he is planning to file a bill in Congress bolstering shoe industry in the Philippines, particularly Marikina City.
In his speech during the celebration of the Shoe Museum over the weekend, Fernando said the proposed measure would require the government, government agencies and other government units to purchase shoes from the country only especially when using government funds.
The former Marikina City mayor expressed his optimism the city’s shoe industry would revive its glory days and reclaim its reputation as the Shoe Capital not only of the country but of Asia as well.
Fernando recalled the shoe industry in Marikina and how it prospered through the years, though it faced difficulties because of the entry of more cheaper imported shoes from abroad in the Philippines.
“We are all descendants of shoemakers. Marikina has a higher number of the middle class in the country since the shoe industry was introduced more than a hundred years ago,” he said.
Fernando said he is overjoyed by the growing interest on the shoe industry among the young people, who together with the older generation of shoemakers in Marikina, attended the event.
This a sign that the shoe industry in the country will regain its glory days and be once again at the forefront in the region, he added.
Established on February 16, 2001, the ex-mayor initiated the construction of the museum to honor Marikina's shoemakers, workers, artisans and manufacturers, as well as to showcase their creativity and ingenuity to the rest of the world.
The first pair of shoes was created in the city in 1887 through the initiative of Don Laureano "Kapitan Moy" Guevara, spurring the rise of the shoe industry and the skilled workers and artisans.
Guevara is now acknowledged as the Father of the Shoe Industry, which has also contributed a lot to the domestic economy, culture, tradition, and way of life of residents.
To commemorate its 18th anniversary, the Marikina City government, through the tourism, culture and the arts office, gathered all shoemakers, manufacturers and artisans.