BESTSELLER. The gourmet ‘tinapa' or smoked fish, which is the OTOP (One town, one product) of Lucena City, is consistently the top-selling product displayed at the Kalakal-Quezon shop in the capital city. The store located at the Grand Central Terminal is a project of the Department of Trade and Industry to assist micro-entrepreneurs. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Joseph Polo)

LUCENA CITY – This city's One Town, One Product (OTOP), the gourmet "tinapa" or smoked fish is the top-selling product at the Kalakal-Quezon shop located at the Grand Central Terminal here.

The store, a project of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the province, opened last week.

In an interview on Tuesday, Mhae Villasin, the consolidator/operator of Kalakal-Quezon, said they often have to restock the bottled gourmet tinapa because the savory dish is always sold out at the end of the day.

"Eighty-five percent of our sales is because of the tinapa and clients always look for it," Villasin said.

She said the DTI-Quezon opened the Kalakal store to promote the products of micro, small and medium Eenterprises (MSMEs) and help them grow their business.

"Kalakal" is a Filipino word that means merchandise.

Villasin operates and manages the shop which caters to starting and established MSMEs from the 39 municipalities and two cities of Quezon province.

"A town's OTOP is encouraged to be displayed and sold here, free of charge," she noted.

Aside from the best-selling tinapa, Villasin noted the brisk sales of other towns' products including the popular "suman sa gata" of Infanta, mango pie of Candelaria, "pansit habhab" and langonisa of Lucban, "suman sa lihiya" of Tiaong and San Antonio and the "pinagong," which is a turtle shaped bread, from Sariaya town.

She encouraged other micro-entrepreneurs to put their products, especially the OTOP, on display at the Kalakal-Quezon, noting that they also facilitate marketing the merchandise both locally and internationally.

Villasin said the MSMEs must only submit the required documents including their DTI business name. Their items should also pass their standard quality control, she added. (PNA)


HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES. Mhae Villasin, operator of Kalakal-Quezon in Lucena City, poses with the products on display at the store located at the Grand Central Terminal. She said all micro-businesses are welcome to put their merchandise on display in the shop. (PNA photo by Belinda Otordoz)