(Image grabbed from OneStore.ph Facebook page)

MANILA -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Friday launched the OneStore app, to better help the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) market their products, and reach out to a wider public.

For the past four years, the OneStore can be accessed via the website, onestore.ph, and through several hubs nationwide. These are where the SMEs’ products are displayed and can be purchased.

The app can be downloaded for free via the onestore.ph website, according to DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña.

In an online interview with the PNA, dela Peña said having the app would allow faster delivery to customers since the SMEs could choose their own logistic partner. Further, the buyer can locate the nearest SMEs within his or her vicinity, he said.

When products are purchased through the website, dela Peña said these are delivered by DOST partners such as Air21, LBC, and 2GO.

Dela Peña said any SME could be part of the OneStore, and not just those who were assisted by the agency. "The SMEs can participate and put their products online as long as they comply with requirements like FDA and DTI registrations, etc.," he said.

Any interested party should undergo orientation before using the app, dela Peña added.

He also pointed out that the DOST does not collect any commission from the SMEs.

Meanwhile, dela Peña said that at present, there are 28 OneStore hubs nationwide, where customers could walk in and purchase products.

In a virtual presser, DOST Region 2 director and OneStore project leader Sancho Maborang said OneStore offers more than 12,000 products, of which more than half are food items.

Maborang also said there are around 360 SMEs that are selling their products via the OneStore.

"Soon, we would also have beauty and wellness products, and products that we use as protection against Covid-19 such as face masks, face shields, antibacterial soaps, among others," he said. (PNA)