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PIA Press Release

Yamang Mindanao opens June 29 to showcase region's best products, services

By Cathy Apelacio

General Santos City (14 June) -- Working hand in hand with the city government and other partner agencies, the Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI), who leads the event organizing for the Yamang Mindanao (YM) is confident that the 4-day event would be another feat for the Mindanaons to reckon with.

The Yamang Mindanao will be featured as one of the major highlights of the Yaman GenSan Business Month celebration slated on June 22 to July 21.

Yamang Mindanao will showcase the One-Town-One-Product (OTOP) adopted by different regions in Mindanao. The Mindanao OTOP will be converged in an Island Trade Fair designed to promote the best services and food products in the region. The event will kick off on June 29 to July 2 at the KCC Mall's Atrium.

The OTOP program supports micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through a comprehensive assistance package of services "to manufacture, offer, and market distinctive products or services through the use of indigenous raw materials, local skills and talents."

It is a priority program of the Arroyo Administration espoused by local government units "to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs" while stimulating local economic activity to fight poverty.

Nelly Dillera, DTI regional information officer, said Mindanao entrepreneurs have now registered with the OTOP program while fair trade producers brace for the upcoming island fair expected to boost only Mindanao's best.

In a meeting earlier, DTI-12 Regional Director Ibrahim Guiamadel explained that Yamang Mindanao "is really a big event," thus, the need to collaborate among agencies and attune all these efforts to the betterment of Mindanao.

He also said that "all DTI Regional Directors nationwide shall be holding the Regional Operations Group Assembly purposely to attend the Opening of Yamang Mindanao OTOP Island Fair."

Guiamadel is bent on making the "Yamang Mindanao Opening a corporate event hence, the presence of a TV or film personality" has been discouraged.

"Their presence (celebrities) may be warranted on other dates to sustain the momentum of the event," he said noting that Region XII is hosting the event for the second time around.

Guiamadel took pride on the milestones reaped by last year's Yamang Mindanao OTOP Fair. He said the event did not only feature the ingenuity of Mindanaons as shown in the intricacy of their indigenous fabrics and other craftsmanship but also showcased the superb destinations in the island region particularly that of Region XII.

He also cited that it was able to close P39.6 million in total sales from "the thousands of walk-in and more than 30 institutional buyers" coming from as far as Europe, USA, Northern Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, including Manila, Cebu, and Davao.

For this year's event, DTI is even more proud and challenged, saying the OTOP Fair has gotten "bigger" and wider in terms of coverage.

At least 100 booths have been reserved by OTOP and fair trade producers, Dillera said adding that the "growth is expected as the number of towns adopting OTOP as business development strategy is continuously increasing."

DTI has guaranteed that OTOP Fair products have undergone the necessary quality development for them to become competitive in the global market. "These products evolved from mere raw materials to well-crafted and functional items or value-added food products."

Based on DTI record, OTOP products in Region 12 "bested other regions in the country in terms of investments generation and export sales in 2006."

Guiamadel lauded Region XII's OTOP for being number 1 in the country accounting for some P870.35 million in investments and US$44.75 million in export sales while it ranks number 4 in domestic sales having generated P153 million.

Because of the OTOP program, the region also created 3,305 new jobs in addition to the 2,332 existing jobs earning it the number 3 slot in the overall ranking, he added.

Aside from the trade fair, other YM components this year also include Business Matching, Series of Business and Skills Training, Success Talks/Stories, Buyers and Sellers' Night and Tour of Region 12 superb spots. (PIA SarGen) [top]

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