ILOILO CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Western Visayas gathered 120 micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) from the region who are recipients of ‘One Town, One Product’ (OTOP) program for a four-day Panubli-on (heritage) trade fair at the SM City Iloilo.
“These are MSMES or products that have real potential for the domestic market and may be upgraded later for export markets. Some have undergone product development last year or the previous year and some this year,” said DTI VI OIC regional director Rachel N. Nufable in her message during the opening program Wednesday afternoon.
She said they will receive a series of assistance to make them locally and globally competitive with the enactment of Republic Act 11960 or the OTOP Philippines Act.
She added the OTOP next generation covers products with potential for upgrading and marketing and not only those identified as banner products of LGUs.
DTI Undersecretary Ana Carolina P. Sanchez said during the opening program that Secretary Alfredo Pascual signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the law on Nov. 10.
With the institutionalization of the program, she said that a committee would be created to “steer the direction of the program” and also review and assess to determine that products qualify as an OTOP while local government units will have to establish hubs in the provinces and in areas where tourists converge for market access.
“OTOP is the government’s stimulus program for MSMEs to drive inclusive local economic growth. OTOP empowers localities to promote culturally-rooted products or services that aim to showcase unique community resources and competitive advantage,” she said in her message.
She added that OTOP “makes use of raw materials in the region, supports the region or their province in the development of that product, supports the development of the community, makes use of local materials, talents, or cultural heritage that we can put into the product.”
DTI Assistant Secretary Leonila T. Baluyot, in her message during the opening program, challenged participating MSMEs to hit the PHP20 million sales as the event coincides with the release of the bonuses for employees.
The fair which runs until Nov. 19 showcases bamboo products, coffee, cacao, coconut, processed food, wearables, homestyle, and other local products. (PNA)