Negros Oriental SMEs join OTOP Fair in Boracay
By Jennifer C. Tilos
Dumaguete City (25 May) -- Of the 35 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Central Visayas, five from Negros Oriental will join the 2nd Visayas One Town One Product (OTOP) Fair with other SMEs in regions 6 and 8 on May 23-27, 2007 in Boracay.
The 2nd OTOP fair will focus on selling the products produced by the SMEs of the three regions under the DTI OTOP Philippines program.
This is to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs in the countryside as one of the priority programs of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
It also encourages the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to produce and market distinct products or services using indigenous raw materials and manpower of every municipality or city.
For now, the agriculture sector recorded a 3.55 percent growth in production valued at P234.2 billion from January to March this year, or a 4.78 percent increase in gross receipts compared to the same period last year.
In his report to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said the fishery subsector proved to be the major gainer during the first quarter with its 8.52 percent production increase.
Yap said the gross value of fisheries output amounted to P43.7 billion, or 10.34 percent higher than last year's record.
The DTI through the Provincial Offices and the SME Development Group assist the LGUs in identifying the specific product and coordinated other forms of assistance from other government agencies such as the Departments of Agriculture (DA), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Interior and Local Government (DILG), Science and Technology (DOST), Tourism (DOT) and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA), among others.
Package of assistance include business counseling, skills and entrepreneurial training, marketing, and introduction of appropriate technologies.
In Boracay, two selling areas will be provided for the buyers. One is at the second floor of the resort for the regular selling from 2:00PM-11:00PM daily and the other is at the beach front of the resort for the night market from 7:00PM-11:00PM daily.
Products for sale are souvenir items, beachwear, novelty items, furnishings, natural fiber, and fashion accessories such as bags, shawls, headgears and footwear, including food items and horticulture inputs.
To add color to the fair, two live mannequins will carry and present Visayas OTOP products under the direction and choreography of International Lifestyle Designer PJ Aranador.
To make the fair more alive, a rolling band will be commissioned to roam from station 1, 2 and 3 in addition to a sailboat bearing the OTOP logo that will sail around the Island.
To enliven the night market, a sand art castle with all the candle lights featuring OTOP will be mounted plus a band to play reggae music on May 25.
Department of Trade and Industry Western Visayas Regional Director Dominic P. Abad, said that the Island of Boracay was chosen as the venue because most of the souvenir shops are here, domestic and foreign tourists abound in the area, and it has great market and tourism potentials.
Invited to come are buyers from Manila and from the three regions, governors and mayors and other government officials from the National Government Agencies, among others. (PIA/JCT) [top]