THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) aims to diversify Cebu’s One Town, One Product (OTOP) Fair by launching newly made designs from different communities.
After a period of hiatus, DTI started to reinvigorate the OTOP program two years ago by making it a priority stimulus program for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to drive inclusive local economic growth.
In partnership with Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), the six-day OTOP Fair showcases locally-made agri-based products, arts and crafts, home and fashion accessories, and processed food.
It opened last Friday, June, in Ayala Center Cebu and was originally set to run until Wednesday, June 6, as one of the activities of Cebu Business Month. A three-day extension has yet to be confirmed.
This OTOP Fair Cebu has drawn 46 participating MSMEs, which is more than last year’s 20 exhibitors for three days.
“Cebu environment’s is dynamic. The ingredients for growth are there and we are trying to harness all of these ingredients, put them all together to strengthen our system,” said Provincial Director Maria Elena Arbon of DTI Cebu.
The fair also gives creators a chance to promote “culturally-rooted products and services” even as they hone entrepreneurial skills and get inspired to innovate.
Since innovation is crucial in business survival, this program also assists exhibitors. OTOP offers a comprehensive assistance package from local government units, national government agencies, and the private sectors. That includes product development, technology updating, capacity-building, brand equity and development, intellectual property assistance, access to finance, and marketing platforms and promotion.
One of OTOP’s goals is to encourage new product designers. Each exhibitor only needs to pay P500 a day, inclusive of power supply. Gaining customers and profits aside, the exhibit will help them attract suppliers for their business as well, said Ruby Bru of Joby’s Food Products in Mandaue.
Marivic Aguilar, chief trade and industry development specialist for DTI Cebu, said the fair’s organizers are projecting at least P1 million in revenue. (Louise Sigrid de Dios, CNU intern)