THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has provided the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of the region with a shrink-sealing machine in a bid to increase their production.

The sealing machine, which was provided through the Industry Guarantee Loan Fund (IGLF), has been endorsed to the Food Processors Association of Davao (FPAD), a non-government organization (NGO). The group has been identified as DTI-Davao Region's partner in this particular endeavor.

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As a partner, FPAD is responsible for the care and maintenance of the equipment and will ensure that MSMEs who are producing products enrolled in the One Town One Product (Otop) program can use the facility.

DTI-Davao Region regional director Marizon S. Loreto said the provision of a shrink wrapping machine is just one of the initiatives being made by the Trade department as it actively promotes the development of products by Otop-MSMEs.

"This is intended for the packaging and labeling of the products of MSMEs in Davao Region. With this equipment, their production will be increased especially that this is an automated wrapping machine. Some of our MSMEs right now are packaging their products manually because they can't afford to mechanize due to high cost," Loreto said.

Loreto added that local products must be packaged in such a way that they can attract more buyers and can compete with other products, both in the local and international markets.

From 2005 until 2008, Otop already contributed $50.23 million export sales for the region. It also generated P579.68 million in domestic sales P443.29 million in investments.

Among the identified Otops of the region are banana chips, processed fruits and vegetables (i.e. mango, banana, etc.), durian products, processed meat, handicrafts, coconut products (i.e. virgin coconut oil), floriculture, organic rice, goat meat, cocoa, gold and silver jewelry, rubber, wood and wood-based products, and abaca novelties.

Loreto said that MSMEs who are interested to avail of the packaging facility may contact the nearest DTI office in their respective areas.