THE first One Town, One Product (Otop) hub opened in Davao del Sur.
The Otop hub, which is located at Cor Jesu Shell Station in Digos City, was officially launched on Thursday, December 26. Its opening was originally set on December 19 but was postponed due to the recent 6.9 magnitude earthquake that heavily affected the Municipality of Padada.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Davao del Sur director Delia Ayano said the hub houses around 17 micro, small, and medium enterprises on its opening day but is expected to increase.
The products displayed in the area ranged from processed food like chips made of banana, cassava, and coconut, handicrafts especially those made by Indigenous Peoples groups, perfumeries, and coconut products like virgin coconut oil and coco sugar.
“That Otop hub is not only limited to the producers of Davao del Sur. The beauty of the Otop hub is we can accommodate products even if it is not coming from the province,” she said.
“Basta naay mga potential nga produkto kay murag man gud na siyag display area but of course giving more importance to the producers of Davao del Sur (We cater those that are potential products, but we prioritize the producers in Davao del Sur),” Ayano added.
She said MSMEs that wish to display their products must only furnish the agency’s provincial office with business name registration and proof of compliance to government rules and regulations like certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for food products.
“If they do not have the FDA certification yet because they have just started their business, they would have to undergo the seminar or training on good manufacturing practices and secure the certificate that they have attended the seminar while awaiting the FDA certification,” she said.
Ayano also explained that the Otop hub is also in partnership with the Cor Jesu Shell through the Cor Jesu College, Inc. (CJC).
“They provided us with space and share a little of the proceeds because they will be the one to manage,” she said.
She added that the location was also strategic for the MSMEs as she observed many people would drop by the area.
The management also lends a system which monitors the sales of the MSMEs.
She noted that DTI-Davao del Sur has assisted 6,000 MSMEs in the province. Half of it has already registered while the other half have yet to register their businesses.
“I-assist man gihapon namo ang potential [MSMEs] (We still assist those MSMEs with potential),” she said.