The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently declared that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Region 8 are back in business after almost two years since the region was struck by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
“We have to show that we are back so we inspire others that things can happen, and make a difference,” DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said during the recent regional trade fair dubbed as Bahandi (treasures) 2015.
Maglaya commended the exhibitors for never giving up and for believing in the viability of establishing linkages with development partners and the government.
The fair features the region’s products such as processed food, gift items, décor and house wares, furniture and furnishings, and fashion accessories from the six provinces of Eastern Visayas.
Of the 93 MSME exhibitors that joined the fair, 37 are first time participants.
The fair was organized by the DTI with the United States Agency for International Development Rebuild Team, National Small and Medium Enterprises Development Council, and Regional Development Council of Region 8 and with the support of local government units, congressmen and national line agencies.
“We believe that there is hope. We build, and build back better. That is what we always want to say after typhoon Yolanda,” Maglaya said.
Maglaya also noted that on September 6, Region 8 showcased their products at the Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion showroom and this will last for one month at the Trade and Industry Building in Makati City.
“If we cannot get buyers to go to Tacloban, then we bring our producers and products to Manila,” DTI Region 8 Director Cynthia R. Nieras said during the opening ceremony of the fair.
She noted that the fair’s highest sales figure was recorded in 2003 at P38 million, and only made a comeback in 2012 when the economy bounced back with P12 million cash and booked sales. This development made the enterprises busy in the succeeding months and could have continued but typhoon Yolanda hit the region in November 2013, which severely affected the region’s MSMEs.
For this year, DTI aims to generate P15 million in sales.
“The producers have to make do with whatever they have left after typhoon Yolanda, and the assistance they received from various sources to rebuild their businesses,” she said.