Danao makes entrepreneurial push

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Among the products highlighted during the opening of the Danao City’s Christmas bazaar was sinamay fabric made out of abaca. (Photo by Allan Cuizon of Sun.Star Cebu)


THE Danao City Government unveiled on Monday the weeklong Christmas Bazaar aimed to boost entrepreneurship and showcase the best products of the city’s 42 barangays.

Danao City Vice Mayor Ramon “Red” Durano VI said the main objective of the bazaar is to identify the products that have the potential to be developed further and be marketed locally and internationally and to promote entrepreneurship to generate investments and jobs.

“Unemployment is one of the biggest problems faced by every city. But I believe that one way to address this is through entrepreneurship,” said Durano.

The Christmas Bazaar, which will run from Dec. 16 to 22, is the first in Danao City. The 42 barangays were clustered into groups of 10, each with four to five member-barangays. Each cluster was overseen by a city councilor.

Annual event

Durano, who conceptualized the event, said bazaars have long been a venue for marketing small and medium enterprises. He said they plan to make the event an annual activity to showcase the talent, creativity, manpower and resources of the city.

The former congressman of the fifth district said they aim to showcase the best products of Danao, from food to tourism.

“We want to make known to everybody that Danao has other products rather than paltik (homemade guns). We have a lot to offer,” he said. “I was surprised that we have this abundant pottery making, abaca weaving and cut flowers that were hardly known before.”

The clusters produced products such as crops, vegetable and fruits, delicacies, handicrafts, accessories, novelty items, beauty and health products, pottery, processed foods, and other services.

The local government assisted all the participating barangays on how to organize, train, fund, market and manage their products and services.

Buyers

Renita Osma, 41, from Brgy. Masaba, Danao, said she was thankful she was given opportunity to showcase her abaca fiber at the bazaar. Osma has long been looking for direct buyers of her abaca products since she left the firm she was working for last September.

She initially invested P10,000 to start her abaca business. Although, abaca has a huge market to tap, Osma said the lack of market access and working capital are big obstacles for small players like her. But Durano assured the SMEs of the city he would work closely with the business chambers in Cebu and government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labor and Employment to address livelihood concerns.

“This is just the initial step. After this, we will identify the SMEs that we will train and the products that we will further develop,” he said. Durano said the city
government will provide all the technical support for these new businesses.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Philip Tan pledged the chamber will work closely with the Danao City in product promotion. What he advised the entrepreneurs, though, is to “think big-time.”

“Entrepreneurs become successful because they think big,” he said. “They don’t allow problems to limit them from thinking big-time.”

The bazaar also aims to increase awareness of the councilors about entrepreneurship. “This is one way to encourage and convince them to support programs that are income and employment generating,” said Durano.

Danao City has an estimated population of 200,000. The city is known for its tourism adventure sites like Danasan Eco Adventure Park. Its popular delicacy is kasahos.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 18, 2013.

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