DTI assures MSMEs of market assistance

By Gladys Pino

April 10, 2018, 9:13 pm

CALAMBA CITY-- Assistant Secretary Demphna Du-Naga of the Department of Trade and Indstry (DTI) Regional Operations Group (ROG) assured Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of the agency's assistance in providing market access opportunities as she called on stakeholders to aspire in competing with the best products in the world.

These opportunities include trade fairs, Go Lokal!, and now, the OTOP Philippines Hub, where the best of Philippine local products can be found, Du-Naga told participants of the DTI Calabarzon regional orientation.

The DTI Calabarzon regional orientation, which was attended by DTI staff, commissioned designers, food experts, and MSMEs' brand consultants at the Hotel Marciano here Tuesday, was aimed at scaling up the region’s “One Town, One Product” (OTOP) program this year.

Du-Naga advised MSMEs "to have open minds and hearts – innovate and modernize in terms of design, learn from customers, and seek ways to scale up so we can meet the demands of the market."

Likewise, OTOP National Program Manager Leon Flores III stressed that OTOP is a strategic program to build the pride of a place and for localities to focus on products that they can be best at.

Flores encouraged the private sector and the local government units (LGUs) to take their OTOP seriously in order to build not just enterprises but generate more jobs.

Flores pointed out that their 2017 undertakings has assisted some 6,519 MSMEs; and developed and improved 4,960 products all over the country. He hopes they could do more this year.

DTI-Calabarzon regional Information Officer Mia Angeline V. Cortez said the orientation for MSMEs stakeholders and their DTI staff is seen to “ensure a uniform execution of the Assessment, Consultation and Triage (ACT) sessions in the provinces."

Cortez also said that the orientation session serves as an avenue to calibrate the various directions for the region’s “OTOP” Next Level by expanding the DTI’s assistance to MSMEs in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon or collectively known as Calabarzon.

DTI Calabarzon Regional Director Marilou Q. Toledo said their regional office is targeting to assist some 375 MSMEs under the OTOP program this year, under which, 130 will be enrolled in Product Development and the remaining 245 will be capacitated through various training sessions and seminars.

OTOP Philippines is a priority stimulus program for MSMEs as the government’s customized intervention to drive inclusive local economic growth.

The program enables localities and communities to determine, develop, support, and promote culturally-rooted products or services where they can be best at or best known for.

Toledo said the DTI intervention program hopes to encourage MSMEs to innovate and be more competitive in terms of quality, design, packaging/labeling, marketability, branding, and production; and delivery capacity to be able to create more jobs and stimulate both local and international trade. (PNA)