Bataan OTOP sales drop, but remain on track
by William L. Beltran
Bataan (11 November) -- Sales on products enrolled under the Bataan One-Town-One-Product (OTOP) program of the government dropped a bit below its targets for 2008 and needs to catch up at 33% in sales at least to level up to its 2007 recorded sales.
As of 3rd quarter this year, OTOP in Bataan generated more than PhP 18 million in sales but it needs much effort to draw near its 2008 target pegged at PhP 29.4 million and get closer to its sales in 2007 which was an astounding PhP 28.1 million.
According to Yay Lasam, provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry, the drop is logical since the country partook its share in the turbulent global economic recession, fuel price was at its highest especially during the first half of the year, and the continuous rise in the country's inflation rate is another reason.
Lasam intoned that though Bataan OTOP sales as of the 3rd quarter may be a little far-off vis-ā-vis its targets and last year's accomplishment, the DTI remains hopeful that the program will have an expeditious run of sales in the remaining months of the year where the trade department expects more buyers for the coming holiday season.
"So the OTOP program in the province still remains on track despite external forces, at least to level up to its 2007 feat", Lasam expressed.
Records from the DTI show that even OTOP investments encountered a slight plunge compared to last year's.
In 2007, OTOP investments reached a high of PhP13.3 million. As of 3rd quarter this year, a total of PhP10.77 million in investments was recorded.
The OTOP program needs to press its twenty percent deficit more to parallel with its 2007 investments record.
Lasam said the DTI is making headway in intensifying assistance given to local products enrolled under the OTOP program at least to minimize the deficits in sales and investments by way of conducting product clinics and improving the packaging and label designs of the products.
Meanwhile, in a recent OTOP congress in the province, Amanda's Marine Products, one of the small-and-medium enterprises enrolled under the OTOP program, was awarded provincial outstanding OTOP SME anew.
Amanda's Marine Products was also last year's awardee and even won the regional title.
The award is being given to SMEs which have cooperated with the local government unit and OTOP partner-agencies, invested resources in the program and contributed much to the local economy in terms of employment and trade.
Balanga City, on the other hand, was adjudged provincial best OTOP LGU implementer for its enthusiasm in implementing OTOP and for committing resources and taking concrete actions toward the attainment of the program's objectives.
Amanda's Marine products, Balanga City local government, along with the provincial office of the Department of Labor and Employment which was cited as the most supportive OTOP partner in the province, will vie for the regional awards in their respective categories, awarding of which is set early next year. (PIA) [top]