The Department of Trade and Industry Region 02 (DTI R02) launched its first One Town One Product (OTOP) Philippines Hub at the Tuguegarao City Airport in the Province of Cagayan on Tuesday, December 18.
OIC Regional Director Ruben Diciano in his opening statement underlined the importance of the OTOP Philippines Hub in “promoting the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods “ as mandated by the Philippine constitution. He said the hub is an improved version of a Pasalubong Center, a physical space where market ready OTOPproducts are made available to both local buyers and tourists. It showcasesthe products of the micro-small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) assisted by the DTI under its OTOP Next Gen Program.
The OTOP Next Gen Program is DTI’s Program to level up these products. Building on the gains of the first phase, OTOP Next Gen offers a package of assistance to MSMEs which would includeproduct development, design, packaging, standards compliance, marketability, production capability, brand development, among others. All these to help OTOPreneurs to come up with better and improved product offerings.
Gracing the event as the Guest of Honor, DTI Assistant Secretary (ASEC) Demphna Du-Naga said she understands how hard it is for MSMEs “to spread their wings” if they do not have enough capital. As the focal person in charge of the OTOP Philippines Program of DTI, she assured the MSMEs that DTI will assist them through the Small Business (SB) Corporation, a DTI attached agency that provides financing assistance packages for MSMEs.
ASEC Naga also expressed gratitudeon behalf of DTI,to the Tuguegarao City Airport Management represented by Ms. Mary Sulyn Sagorsor, Area Manager of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) for accommodating the OTOP.PH. ASEC Naga said this is the first OTOP.PH located inside an airport.
DTI Region 02’s Assistant Regional Director, Ma. Salvacion A. Castillejos on the other hand, said:“This is just the beginning. We will be opening other OTOP Philippines hub to promote and champion OTOP products in other strategic areas within the region soon.” “ The hub is meant to be a marketing vehicle and incubation platform for market ready products. With further improvements, the products may level up to qualify to Go Lokal, a retail concept store which displays high quality and innovative Philippine made products.” she added.
A highlight of the event was the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the DTI and the Cagayan Valley Manufacturers’ Association, Inc.on the establishment and operations of the OTOP Philippines hub.
Present during the event were DTI Region 02’s management lead by the OIC Regional Director Ruben B. Diciano and OIC Assistant Regional Director and concurrent Provincial Director of Cagayan, Ma. Salvacion A. Castillejos. The DTI Provincial Offices were represented by their respective Directors: PD Henry O. Conel of Nueva Vizcaya; OIC PD Winston T. Singun of Isabela, PD Marietta Salviejo of Batanes and PD Ma. Sofia Narag of Quirino. Representing the OTOPreneurs were Ms. Dauphine Alviar of the Cagayan Valley Manufacturers Association and Mr. Marcial Laogan of the Isabela Manufacturers Association.
Among the products on display and available for sale at the OTOP.PH in Tuguegarao City are processed food, beverages and wines, native delicacies, agri-based produce such as coffee, cacao bits and tablea, fruits and nuts and food preserves. Non-food items include home decors, artisan works and functional wares , fashion accessories and wearables.