Calabarzon posts highest sales at OTOP Luzon Island Fair
by Charlie S. Dajao
Calamba City (7 December) -- Calabarzon bested other regions in terms of sales during the 5th OTOP Luzon Island Fair (OLIF) at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, last November 18-22.
Of the 257 exhibitors all over Luzon, 50 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are from the Calabarzon region that collectively cornered sales of P5.3-million worth of products, more than a fifth of the 5-day fair's total revenues of Php 25.466 million.
Aishe Footwear of Liliw, Laguna posted the highest overall sales in the gifts, toys and housewares (GTH) category while Wild Bamboocraft of Rizal bagged the best booth award. ELMN Enterprises, also of Rizal, ranked second highest in sales in the raw/semi-processed raw materials category.
The OTOP Luzon Island Fair, one of the major domestic trade fairs organized by the DTI, prompts products of MSMEs to be exposed to bigger markets such as exporters and institutional buyers.
At her keynote speech during the opening day of the fair on November 18, Batangas Governor Rosa Vilma Santos-Recto stressed that she firmly believes in OTOP as this gives hope and livelihood particularly to those in the countryside.
"People needs livelihood in the face of increasing consumer prices. Kung saan tayo magaling, saan tayo kilala, o kung anong mga potensyal meron tayo, doon tayo magsimulang magsikap", Gov. Santos-Recto emphasized.
"Our country has a lot of products that we are proud to show, only that we have to continually upgrade the quality and design of our products to satisfy the distinguishing tastes of our target markets', the lady governor cautioned.
The 'star for all seasons' turned governor, herself an'OTOP product' and the prime tourist attraction of Batangas, rallied the audience to support and to work as a team in promoting and selling OTOP products.
Among other personalities that graced the event included Rowena Domingo and Andrea Bautista-Ynares, spouses and attending on behalf of DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo and Gov. Casimiro'Junjun' Ynares of Rizal, respectively.
DTI Undersecretary for regional operations Merly S. Cruz reported that 99% percent of the country or 1,497 cities and municipalities nationwide has already adopted OTOP.
"Don't look at the end, but OTOP's 5-year lifespan is just a beginning of new timeline", Usec. Cruz declared as she announced that OTOP is now mainstreamed under the activities of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC.
She also reported on the 45,820 enterprises assisted, Php10.8-billion worth of investments, Php145-billion domestic sales, USD 650-million in exports, and the generation of 417,237 jobs as the overall performance of OTOP resulting from the convergence and complementation by the public and private sectors during its 5 years of existence.
Usec. Cruz also cited effective intervention, i.e., training, product development, marketing, financing and policy support, as a key factor in the success of program.
"One major impact of the program is that it has improved the standards of living of those who engaged in it", Usec. Cruz concluded.
The participating exhibitors are Edna and Rebecca's Banana Chips & Coated Peanut, Paper and Arts, Inc., Mila's Embroidery, Chona's Handmade Embroidery & Gift Shop, Merlo Agricultural Corporation, and the City Government of Tanauan, Batangas;
Carm Foods Enterprises, Café Amadeo Development Corporation, Delfa's Food Products, Ocean Fresh Tahong Chips, Magallanes Women's Club MPC, Alfonso Tablea Producers Cooperative, Bailen's Best Producers Cooperative, Sweet Style Beadworks; and 2417 Souvenir Shop, Cavite;
Aishe Footwear, Ceblamo's Burdang Lumban, CSM International, Jhaz Footwear, Melo Jean Works Creation, Ang Tindahan ng Itlog ni Kuya Atbp., Red Palm Ventures, Kalakal Cavinti Atbp., Souvenir Shop, Aling Nene's Buco Pie & Puto Biñan Delicacies, Kutitap Aromatherapy Crafts, Gen-Randy Buko Tart at Pasalubong, Annie & Nestor Food Products, MC Bote Health Care, ACERR Enterprises, of Laguna;
Quezon's Candelaria OTOP Producers Cooperative and Sampaloc Weavers Association;
ELMN Enterprises, CD Handicraft, Inc., Wild Bamboo Craft, Yamang Atin Enterprises, Medoth Philippines, JCCJ Designs & Crafts, Tiberiade Community Foundation, Inc., Revelation Arts & Crafts Design, Chamonde Corporation, ARH Arts & Crafts Collection, MLGS Herbal Products, Balaw-Balaw Food, Benelco Enterprises, Jaime Gerardo Designs, and JA Eustaquio Enterprises, of Rizal.
Other exhibitors are the beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), and the Local Government of Tanauan, Batangas. (DTI4A) [top]