THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 announced last week that the region’s first One Town One Product (Otop) Hub will be set up in Bohol province.
Otop Philippines Hub will house the products of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) whose owners are graduates of the agency’s Otop Next Generation program.
DTI 7 Director Asteria Caberte said a memorandum of agreement for the pilot Otop Philippines Hub in Bohol will be signed during the opening of the Sandugo Trade Expo this July 25 in Tagbilaran City.
“It will have a look of its own that showcases the best products of the island. It will be positioned to attract the tourism market,” said Caberte.
She added that the plan of setting up an Otop Hub is timely for Bohol as the province will open its doors wider to global tourism with the commercial operation of the New Bohol International Airport in Panglao Island next month.
DTI is also encouraging MSMEs to enroll their products in the Otop program.
The Otop initiatives aims to offer a package of public-private assistance in order for MSMEs with minimum viable products to come up with new or better offerings. Their objective is to enable significant improvements and innovations in the areas of quality, product development, design, standards compliance, marketability, production capability and brand development.
“The goal of the program is to graduate the MSMEs along each stage of the pathway while simultaneously facilitating new entrants into the program,” the agency said.
Otop embarks on the technological upgrade of production processes and design to help ensure sustainability of supply, by combining various elements, re-engineering design or processes, or building more advanced skills and capabilities.
Around 143 MSMEs in the region took part in the Otop screening, assessment and triage sessions as of May 31. Experts from the Design Center of the Philippines and the private sector evaluated potential Otop products, said Caberte.
Of the total, 74 MSMEs from Cebu have participated in the upgraded version of Otop, followed by Bohol that had 42 MSMEs, Negros Oriental with 23 and Siquijor with four.
After Bohol, Caberte intends to set up more Otop hubs in every province. She said now is the best time to expose the region’s ingenuity and creativity on the back of the connectivity improvements in Bohol and Cebu.
Among the products covered under the program are processed food and beverage, delicacies, agri-processing (coffee, coconut oil, cacao, among others), food supplements, packaged culinary dishes, agricultural produce including seafood (preserved and processed), industrial products, home (furniture, décor, houseware), fashion, garments and textiles, accessories, gifts and souvenir items, personal care and cosmetics and services. (KOC)