Feature: Carmen's Sinamay, a successful OTOP at work
Cebu City (November 13) -- Apart from boasting its Sinamai fabric that is gaining millions in revenues for this 4th class municipality, the local Sinamay-produced is the 'One Town, One Product' (OTOP) pride of the municipality of Carmen, Cebu which has become a means to provide livelihood to over a thousand local folks in the area.
Elias Tecson, DTI-Cebu Project Management Division Chief bared the town of Carmen, is a classic example that the OTOP Project of the National Government is an effective means to promote entrepreneurship in the countryside and create jobs in the community stimulating the local economy of the town.
Tecson said the DTI-Cebu has been providing assistance to the town of Carmen in marketing their product of which the five-day ongoing '3rd OTOP Visayas Island Fair' in Cebu City is one such avenue to showcase the town's OTOP product in the domestic market with a possibility of linking with export buyers.
Tecson said from January to October, this year, Carmen has sold P7M worth of Sinamay fabric including to a Taiwan-based buyer and other big export companies as well.
Carmen's OTOP Product has given jobs to 353 weavers and 671 knotters, according to Tecson.
Sinamay has been chosen by the local government unit (LGU) of Carmen due to the abundance of abaca plants not only within their area but in neighboring towns as well, Tecson declared.
The OTOP Project basically provides support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to manufacture distinctive products maximizing raw materials abundantly found within the area and utilizing local manpower skills aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship and generate employment in the countryside, this is learned.
Tecson said business counseling, skills and entrepreneurial training, product design and development, appropriate technologies and marketing are the assistance provided to MSMEs under the OTOP Project.
Although the DTI provides the advocacy and marketing aspect of the products under the OTOP Project, the lead agency of the project are the LGUs as they are the ones that will identify what particular products or services they believe are their strength that can be maximized as an OTOP pride to encourage business and create jobs in their respective areas, Tecson added.
OTOP implementation in the province of Cebu is more than 75 percent and with a little more time, Tecson said he is optimistic that all LGUs in the province have their own OTOP pride.
Tecson said he is currently working with the lGU of Alegria, 115kms. south of Cebu, which has identified bamboo craft as their OTOP pride. The Alegria bamboo craft will be a benchmark for other nine neighboring towns which has abundant bamboo resources that could be utilized into unique products for business.
The OTOP Project is one of the priority programs of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs in the countryside. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]