5th Calabarzon OTOP Congress up in Antipolo
by Charlie S. Dajao
Calamba, Laguna (February 24) -- The Province of Rizal, in earlier times called the Province of Tondo and the Province of Manila, and home to the SuMaKaH and Higantes Festivals, will host the 5th Calabarzon OTOP Congress on March 2.
This year's regional congress, themed "Otop Gains, Calabarzon Reigns", will be held at the Ynares Sports Center in scenic Antipolo City.
The congress will celebrate the gains of OTOP in the 5 provinces of the Calabarzon Region as well as provide a venue to continually harmonize the various activities of the different stakeholders towards a unified OTOP program in Calabarzon region.
It would also be a venue to showcase and expose the region's OTOP products and services to new and wider markets through an exhibit and trade fair.
The event would also celebrate the transfer of the Rizal Provincial Capitol from Pasig City to the City of Antipolo as Rizal's seat of government and capital of the province.
Governors Rosa Vilma Santos-Recto of Batangas; Ayong Maliksi of Cavite; Teresita S. Lazaro of Laguna; Rafael Nantes of Quezon; and host Governor Casimiro 'Jun-jun" Ynares III will lead the expected 1,000-plus participants of the congress.
Progress and milestones of the OTOP program in its 5 years of implementation will be delivered by the respective governors of the Calabarzon provinces.
At the Ynares Center grounds, an exhibit and trade fair will be presented to continually promote and expose Calabarzon OTOP products and services with the goal of preparing the entrepreneurs to be competitive in the domestic and international markets.
Moreover, companies and firms participating under the Diskwento Program will join the trade fair selling basic commodities at discounted prices.
Providing entertainment will be a competition of cultural presentations among delegates of the region's 5 provinces.
More than a thousand participants are expected to participate in the congress including officials and representatives of local government units (LGU), the business sector and chambers of commerce, cooperatives, government financial institutions, government line agencies, and other guests.
The 5th Congress is a collaboration between the Rizal Small and Medium Enterprise Development (RISMED) Council chaired by Governor Casimiro A. Ynares III; the Rizal Provincial Government; business and sectoral organizations (PCCI-Rizal, REMAI, ROAR, PAFCI, LMP-Rizal); the academe (University of Rizal System and HEAR), as well as non-government organizations (NGO) and cooperatives, the Rizal Provincial Office of the Department of Trade and Industry, and other national government agencies and NGOs implementing entrepreneurship programs in the province.
The Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, a non-stock, non-profit organization that advocates Go Negosyo nationwide, also renders strong support to the congress.
The Rizal hosting will complete the rounds of provincial hosting of the OTOP congress. Previous OTOP congresses were held in Sta. Cruz, Laguna (2006), Batangas City (2007), Lucena City (2008), and Tagaytay City in 2009.
The congress serves as venue where stakeholders discuss topics to build capabilities of the entrepreneurs; present achievements, issues and concerns; share learnings and experiences; renew commitments; and showcase the competitive edge of the towns and cities in the region.
OTOP, or the "One Town, One Product" program is a concept and strategy to develop local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in towns, cities, provinces or even regions possessing a strong domestic product base with local ingenuity and skills to be globally competitive consequently bringing out the prominence and uniqueness of each locality, or vice-versa. (DTI IV-A) [top]