SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), launched on Thursday the Balik Eskwela Diskwento caravan, the first since the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) hit the country two years ago.
DTI officer-in-charge provincial director Enrique Tacbad said the caravan is being held annually before the opening of classes to give students and parents, especially the low-income earners, the opportunity to buy school supplies and uniforms at discounted prices.
“This is the first physical Diskwento caravan we (have) held in Subic Freeport since 2019 because of the pandemic. Conducting Diskwento caravans is a challenging role for DTI during the pandemic,” Tacbad said in an interview.
He said the agency had used different strategies to keep on providing discounted goods to areas affected by calamities, such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic while assuring the safety of the staff and personnel.
Balik-Eskwela Diskwento caravan program is tying up with local small and medium entrepreneurs or suppliers to promote and sell their products at discounted prices normally ranging from 10 percent to 50 percent of the regular prices in the market.
Tacbad said with the return of the physical Diskwento caravan, they are expecting to surpass the PHP1.195 million earnings generated during the 2021 caravan in various locations in Zambales.
There are 40 SME exhibitors-sellers from Central Luzon and Marikina City that participated in the caravan, selling school supplies, food products and handicrafts.
The caravan is being held at the parking lot of Ayala Harbor Point here.
Meanwhile, SBMA Deputy Administrator Ruel John Cabigting welcomed the Diskwento caravan in Subic and became part of the project to help the residents to afford school supplies and other commodities.
“It is an honor to become a partner with DTI,” said Cabigting, adding that SBMA is fully supporting the small and medium enterprises as this helps provide jobs and income for the residents and the community.
The Diskwento caravan in Subic Freeport will run until May 20. (PNA)