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PIA Press Release

OTOP generates employment, develops skills of rural workers

by EA Abasquez

San Jose, Antique (10 October) -- The Arroyo Administration through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is pushing One Town One Product (OTOP) projects in more towns and cities nationwide as part of the initiative to provide engines of growth for urban and rural entrepreneurs.

The President launched OTOP in 2004 as a priority program of her Administration to promote the competitive advantages of each region of the country on their best products and unique skills of their local workers.

In the province, the local DTI office pursues continuing advocacy with the local chief executives, the partner agencies, producers/entrepreneurs and the non-government organization in the upgrading of OTOP products, skills of workers in the promotion of sales and marketing of OTOP both in the domestic and foreign markets.

Participation in Agri-Fair/exhibits provides challenge among entrepreneurs on how to make products competitive, enrich their knowledge about market trends and establish linkage with potential partners and/or buyers of OTOP.

According to Jocelyn Perez, DTI’s Sr. Trade and Industry Development Specialist, OTOP producers in the locality had participated in various fairs the recent was Agri-Fair and exhibit of products in Iloilo City last September 27-29.

Perez pointed out that preparations are ongoing for the Tourism Summit on October 24-29 in Iloilo City. The event entails the setting up of Provincial Booth which will highlight tourism sites and OTOP products.

This coming November, there is a plan to hold an island OTOP Fair in Cebu City. The forthcoming event is a venue for Region VI and the Visayas provinces to showcase OTOP products, Perez said.

Major products from the province are the muscovado sugar, bamboo and buri handicrafts coming from the leading muscovado producing towns of Laua-an, Patnongon and Belison.

The producers that will participate in the fair are Miling’s Enterprise, Sto. Rosario Family Welfare Organization in Pandan, Barbaza Agro-Industrial Center, Bagtason Loom Weavers of Bugasong and Buri and Nito crafts from Tobias Fornier and Sebaste respectively.

Muscovado sugar as one of the province’s OTOP has generated substantial sales and local employment in the localities.

Arlene Galopo, Trade and Industry Development Specialist (TIDS) disclosed that Muscovado sales for 2006 amounted to P4.2 million benefiting workers/laborers and the 100 farmers who are members of the Antique Muscovado Sugar Producers and Marketing Cooperative.

The shift to organic farming in muscovado sugar production contributes to a higher price and demand in the markets, Galopo added. (PIA) [top]

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