PRODUCTS of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in Eastern Visayas or Region 8 are being promoted in Metro Manila through the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) One Town, One Product (OTOP) Tindahang Pinoy outlet in Makati City.
The DTI, through its Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP), presented MSME products from the Eastern Visayas region through an exhibit called “BAHANDI: Eastern Visayas Island Treats” at its showroom within its OTOP Makati outlet.
“Bahandi” is Visayan for treasure or riches.
The exhibit is in line with the trade department’s drive to support and uplift the 1 million estimated MSMEs in the country, which comprise 99 percent of Philippine businesses.
DTI Regional Director Cynthia Nierras said the OTOP Makati Showroom wants to give MSMEs the opportunity to broaden their reach to the Metro Manila market.
“Being here in Manila is really a big deal for our producers. [Our] location limits our market and it’s too expensive to relocate for our MSMEs to tap big markets,” Nierras said.
Nora Terrado, DTI Industry Promotion Group (IPG) Undersecretary, said this is part of DTI’s role to provide wider market access to local enterprises through various initiatives and programs.
“IPG’s role is to ensure that we enhance market access of local enterprises and provide opportunities and platforms to promote their businesses. It can be through communication media, spokespersons, and whatever medium that we can provide to support them,” Terrado said.
Over 50 MSMEs in the provinces of Biliran, Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Leyte and Southern Leyte have exhibited their local products which include mats or banig, baskets, bags, fashion accessories, teas, tablea chocolates, and other local delicacies.
Since the establishment of the OTOP Makati Showroom in 2009, 25 entities—seven DTI regional offices, three DTI provincial offices, and 15 trade and industry associations—have showcased their products there for Metro Manila buyers.
“We encourage more MSMEs to scale up their businesses and take advantage of this showroom,” BDTP Director Rhodora Leaño said.
The DTI has various programs to promote MSME development. These include Shared Service Facilities (SSF) which provide hard facilities and equipment for regional manufacturers, farmers and cooperatives; Negosyo Centers, which attend to MSME concerns and serve as the main go-to place for regional enterprises; and Negosyo, Konsumer Atbp. or One DTI Services, which educates provincial MSMEs through a series of meetings on various DTI services and assistance to improve small enterprises.
To date, there are four OTOP stores nationwide—two in Butuan, one in Cebu and one in Makati at the DTI building. The OTOP stores are usually located within malls.
Terrado said two OTOP stores are still under accreditation to be opened within the year.
“There are plans being made to make OTOP mainstream in NCR [National Capital Region] malls. OTOP products are also sold in the Island Favorites Section of 10 Robinsons Supermarkets,” the DTI undersecretary said.
The Eastern Visayas exhibit at the OTOP Makati Showroom will run from July 4 to 29. DTI Region 8 is hosting the event together with the Leyte Treats of Ethnic Crafts Association and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).