The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) conducted a two-day product screening and assessment during the OTOP Next Generation Screening, Assessment and Triage (SAT) Session was conducted on June 14-15, 2017 at the Hotel Roma, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

A total of sixty-four (64) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from Region 02 with the following breakdown: Cagayan (19), Isabela (17), Quirino (12) and Nueva Vizcaya (16) had undergone the SAT session.

The SAT session is an initial phase of the program that will evaluate, re-assess and classify the MSMEs OTOP Next Gen and Go Lokal products.

During the SAT session, six (6) assessors were present. Four (4) of which were from the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP) namely; Mr. Luis Jose P. Manalang, Supervising Industrial Design Specialist; Ms. Rowe A. Requejo, Senior Industrial Design Specialist; and Mr. Benjamin Sixto Molina, Jr, Senior Industrial Design Specialist. Also, with the DCP assessors was Ms. Flor Pinlac, OTOP Next Gen Secretariat. On the other hand,one (1) assessor came from the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) in the person of Ms. Ma. Fe J. Avila, Planning Officer, and two (2) from the Department of Science and Technology - Region 02 (DOST- R02) assessors, Ms. Aileen Gonzales and Ms. Melanie Arugay, Science Research Specialists.

Meanwhile, Mr. Leon G. Flores, III, Industry Trade and Promotions Group Consultant presented the overview on OTOP Next Generation and Go Lokal. During his presentation, he emphasized the needs for MSMEs to be competitive to keep pace with the trends not just locally but globally.

Right after every session, a de-briefing was conducted to assess the flow of the activity on the things that went well and what needs to be improved.

Moreover, the assessors gave general observations on the products they have evaluated and made necessary inputs on how to improve MSMEs’ products and what are the needed interventions to be given e.g. Product Development, FDA- LTO Registration.

On June 16, 2017, an execution planning was conducted to set the target number of MSMEs to be assisted by the project, the number of product prototypes to be developed in the Region and specific interventions to be undertaken.  Further, the SMEDD Marketing Unit presented to the Provincial Directors and Trade Promotion Officers the results of the evaluation and assessment of the Assessors per MSME per Province.

The OTOP Next Generation is the department’s flagship program to level-up products and services that came from the first generation of OTOP as the agency’s commitment in growing innovative and competitive MSMEs with strong brands that significantly contribute to the national economy.