Feature: Zambo OTOP supports best
By Mimi G. Bern-Edaga
Zamboanga City (24 October) -- Zamboanga peninsula (Zampen) is making waves in local projects under One Town One Product (OTOP) program, especially in bottled sardines, Yakan cloth, pearl and jewelry and citrus juice, the Phil-Central Newsletter published recently.
The Program Management Division Chief of the Department of Trade and Industry DTIin Region IX, Satta Jain, concurred with the Phil-Central Newsletter by showing the fruits of OTOP's labor in the Zampen
Based on DTI-9 OTOP Physical Accomplishment as of September 2007, the region has generated export sales of US $24,348.00 out of the targeted $36,290 and domestic sales of PhP431, 261 out of the Php484 target. As of the third quarter, the above-mentioned sales represent a 67% and 89%accomplishment, respectively.
It is also good to note that through OTOP, 5,761 new jobs were created and this includes community-based and home-based, both direct and indirect jobs.
Zampen SMEs had accessed to financial institutions and have the full support of DTI-9 through Regional Director Nazrullah Manzur on product research and development, prototype development and product branding.
With the Development Bank of the Philippines' (DBP) opening of an initial P2-billion credit window to support the country's One-Town, One-Product (OTOP) program, Corazon D. Conde, bank senior vice-president, said the fund is now available to small- and medium-scale enterprises that were identified as OTOP in their areas.
"Countryside development is among the DBP's major thrusts," she said in an interview on the sidelines of the two-day First Zamboanga Peninsula Regional OTOP Conference, which started yesterday. The OTOP fund is part of the government bank's P15-billion fund allocated to support small businesses.
In the Zamboanga Peninsula, OTOP is one project that the stakeholders and the DTI-9 have pushed to attain a 90% direct job sustainability. Zamboanga City prides in being the region's Most Supportive Local Government Unit to the OTOP Program, as adjudged by DTI.
Specifically, the city government through Mayor Celso Loregat, has created the Zamboanga City Seaweeds Development Council on March 2004, amended the fishery ordinance pertaining auxiliary invoice imposed on the shipment of seaweeds, conducted hearings on the proposed law providing incentives and support to seaweeds industry in the city of Zamboanga and providing appropriation therefore, and other interventions that became catalysts for the turn around of the seaweeds industry in the city.
Similarly, Zamboanga del Sur prides in its newly-established Agri-tourism & Heritage Complex (AHC) at the Provincial Government Center in Dao. It was developed and inaugurated in September in time for the hosting of the 2007 ZamPen Regional Tourism Showcase dubbed as: Biyahe Na! sa Zambosur in celebration of her 55th Founding Anniversary last month which served as the launching pad of Zambosur's OTOP program.
It could be recalled that the President launched OTOP in 2004 as a priority program of her administration to promote the competitive advantages of each region of the country based on their best products and unique skills of their local workers.
OTOP is now among the best means of the administration in promoting entrepreneurship and job creation in the countryside.
The Arroyo administration, through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is pushing OTOP projects in more towns and cities nationwide as part of the initiative to provide engines of growth for urban and rural entrepreneurs.
OTOP is patterned after Japan's successful "One Village, One Product" project started in 1979 by Oita Prefecture Governor Morihiro Hiramatsu as a form of people's participation in the regional development of Japan.
The success of the Japanese program prompted other countries, including the Philippines, to adapt the concept as an effective tool to alleviate poverty, particularly in the rural areas.
Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia have also adapted the OTOP scheme of fighting poverty through the creation of more livelihood opportunities for the poor families in urban and rural communities. (PIA 9-ZC) [top]