THE Philippine jewelry industry aims to convert small producers into a unified major player in the global and domestic markets.

Industry leaders and officers of the Confederation of Philippine Jewelry Inc. (CPJI), announced in a recent national conference this thrust to organize the jewelry industry to attain this collective goal of becoming a world-class player by 2014.

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Peter Zuniga, CPJI president and president of Meycauayan Jewelry Industry Association (MJIA); Malou Unson, CPJI Vice- President and President of Philippine Jewelry Business Club Foundation, Inc.; Cecile Ramos, MJIA chair; and Mia Faustmann, President of the Guild of Philippine Jewellers, Inc. led the call for action.

Key to this goal is the formulation of a Logical Framework (LogFrame), a tool used by multilateral financial institutions, such as The World Bank and IMF to serve as a roadmap in programs and projects.

Global Filipino Nation (GFN), an international good governance organization of global Filipinos leaders and organizations in over 25 countries, provided a six-month technical assistance to CPJI in the formulation and implementation of the LogFrame.

The outcomes and activities of the jewelry industry’s LogFrame cover various areas such as strengthened enabling environment; world-class standards; designs and skills developed; strong markets established; enterprise management strengthened; efficient and sustainable production technology in place; and collaborative arrangements launched.

"The industry has achieved significant progress in moving the industry closer to its goal through the use of the LogFrame," Zuniga said.

The achievements include streamlined Bureau of Customs accreditation procedures; simplified access to government incentives capped by availment of export funding assistance for trade exhibits that had been difficult to tap in the past; and the establishment of an Assay Office.

The Assay Office facilitated the mandatory standardization of assaying and the adoption of ISO standards (including 20 Philippine National Standards on Jewelry).

"These are all elements that help project the country's world-class image," Zuniga said.

As a demonstration of this success, Luis Sicat, Trustee for Fashion Accessories and Fine Jewelry of the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. has cited the exceptional progress of the jewelry industry, especially the adoption of competitive standards relating to design and branding. Amidst the global economic crisis, the industry stood out as the only Philippine industry sector that posted a growth rate of 11.7 percent in 2009. (Cecile Ramos/Philexport)