VJANDEP Bakeshop, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), opened its One Town, One Product (OTOP) pasalubong store located beside the DTI-Northern Mindanao Office, Corrales-Luna Street, Cagayan de Oro City, on Wednesday, October 25.
DTI Regional Director Linda Boniao said the OTOP pasalubong store, which has been closed for three years, has been a big help for the micro and small business entrepreneurs from different parts of Northern Mindanao.
"This little store will help most of those very small or micro [enterprises] from the barangay or from the munisipyo (municipal), or the different provinces of Region 10 (Northern Mindanao)," Boniao said, adding that the store has become the micro, small and medium enterprises' (MSMEs') venue to market their products.
OTOP Pasalubong Store sells products from different MSMEs of the region such as food (i.e. pastels, banana chips, peanut butters, pastries, etc.) and handicrafts (i.e. necklaces, bags, notebooks, pouches, wooden crafts, etc.).
Decius Esmedalla, the supervising tourism operations of the Department of Tourism-Northern Mindanao, said OTOP is another venue where domestic products can be promoted and introduced to tourists.
"Practically the products of Northern Mindanao are there in terms of crafts, food, and local delicacies. So naa na sya in one setting. This is more reasonable in terms of pricing. Ug quality sya kay niagi sya sa DTI," Esmedalla said.
Esmedalla said together with Vjandep, they are planning to meet with tour operators and travel agencies to show them the shop and introduce the products, adding that they want to encourage the tour operators and travel agencies to add the OTOP store to their guided tour itineraries.
"We encourage everyone to come and visit the area, although its not really that big but somehow the products are varied in terms of handicrafts, mga local produce and its one way of helping our community, ilabi na sa atong mga (especially to our) producers who are really in need of our promotions," Esmedalla said.
According to Viel Jose, the operations manager of Vjandep Bakeshop, the DTI invited Vjandep Bakeshop to be part of several companies that will manage the store.
"With their full trust that we're capable of handling most of the expos and exhibits made by DTI to other cities, under our management and leadership, they thought that we would be more fit to carry the OTOP," Jose said, adding that the store is his first project after he was promoted as operations manager on February 4.
Jose also mentioned that the OTOP was designed by the United Architects of the Philippines-Mindanao Chapter, saying that its also with the collaboration of their idea into promoting the shop, especially with the area being a location difficult to market.
The grand opening of OTOP Pasalubong Store was also attended by Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno and Provincial Administrator Jocelyn Mateo, who was in the event in behalf of Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 27, 2017.