Saturday, 2nd August 2014

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By: Tara Yap

THE business community in the city and province of Iloilo said it will look into the packaging industry more seriously.

“While there is lack of awareness, it is time for Ilonggo manufacturers and producers to look into potentials of packaging in the overall socio-economic development,” said Iloilo Business Club (IBC) executive director Lea Lara.

Iloilo is set to host Global Pack 2012, an international packaging conference and trade expo on July 22-28.

Lara said they appreciate the move of the Central Philippine University (CPU) to jumpstart interest of Iloilo’s business circle on the packaging industry by offering Bachelor of Science in Packaging Engineering since 2006 and setting up the Philippine Center for Packaging Engineering and Technology.

Lara admitted there is no packaging industry in Iloilo and the closest initiative aside from CPU is the Packaging and Labeling Assistance Program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-6).

Dr. Lejo Braña, the Ilonggo packaging expert who played a pivotal role in setting up the first packaging school in the Philippines, urged the business sector in changing their mindset about packaging.

“Be familiar with packaging. All products are conveyed to the customers through packaging,” Braña emphasized.

Braña also challenged the Iloilo business community to venture into packaging industry.

“The packaging school will provide the education and testing laboratory, but the actualization of packaging has to be done by a company,” Braña said.

Lara and Braña are hopeful that there will be an Ilonggo packaging company within the next five years.

Lito Buñag, director of Systemat PackEdge which organized the Global Pack conference, considers Iloilo to be the center of renaissance for the resurgent interest in packaging throughout the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

“What is needed in Iloilo is a spark,” Buñag said as he challenged the business community to breakaway from the current industrial activity of 14% and agri-activity of 4%.

More than 1,000 delegates are expected to come to Iloilo City to participate in the GlobalPack 2012 International Packaging Conference and Exhibits.

Opening and closing ceremonies, exhibits and plenary sessions will be held at the Sarabia Manor Hotel while the delegates will also participate in the blessing and launching of the P11-million CPU PC-PET testing laboratory at Central Philippine University here.

Bunag said delegates from 10 countries will come to Iloilo including speakers and experts on the multi-billion dollar packaging industry. The experts will be led by World Packaging Organization (WHO) CEO Tom Schneider of July 26-27.

Activities will include exhibits on processing and packaging solutions on July 25, small and medium enterprise (SME) packaging seminar on July 25 to focus on expanding business all the way to exports, networking, community fun run in support to Globalpack 2012 on July 22 and golf tournament at the St Barbara golf course on July 28. (With reports from LCPendon)

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