CEBU

Bohol’s Sandugo Expo goes online

NO PANDEMIC can stop Filipinos from showcasing their ingenuity and world-class craftmanship.

While the region’s export-quality products will be promoted on a different platform, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 hopes to attract more buyers and generate orders as it holds Bohol’s annual trade expo virtually, for the first time.

Called the “Virtual Sandugo Expo,” the digital fair will run from July 20 to 24, 2020 through Pasinaya, a One Town One Product (Otop) Digital Market Showroom and Online Trade Platform.

“Pasinaya, which literally means debut, is the kickoff for the ‘new normal’ trade fairs and the launching of the online Otop PH Stores otopstores.ph and Otop app,” the DTI 7 said in a statement.

The DTI said the platform is conducted virtually with business-to-business meetings and networking to be held via Zoom.

“We are working on the buyer and seller experience by recreating the physical market through the digital platform. This is to jumpstart things because our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are ready to recover as well as the buyers,” said DTI 7 Assistant Director Ma. Elena Arbon.

This year’s virtual expo will be joined by 320 Otop homegrown regional exhibitors whom buyers can easily meet, source and connect with using their mobile devices.

Now on its 33rd year, the Sandugo Expo showcases different premier products of the region, ranging from processed food to health and wellness, wearables and homestyle.

The activity which was meant to provide a venue for home and cottage industry products from Bohol’s 47 towns and a city had morphed into a regional fair as the DTI used the products of the Otop and the DTI assisted products developed by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Digital space

In an earlier interview, Arbon told SunStar Cebu that they have been transitioning brick and mortar MSMEs to the digital space.

Arbon said they continue to support their network of MSMEs by guiding them virtually on how they can penetrate the consumers now under the new normal.

The Sandugo Expo in 2019 logged P42.1 million in sales.

DTI Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona said the agency commits to help MSMEs to thrive and expand in an increasingly global and competitive e-commerce industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic by equipping Filipino MSMEs to become competent and resilient as they embrace the opportunities and challenges the new normal brings.

The launch of the virtual expo coincides with DTI’s MSME Week Celebration.

Registration

Meanwhile, Pasinaya participants may register at https://tinyurl.com/PASINAYA2020 for public registration.

Once registered, participants will receive a welcome packet that will guide them to the respective Zoom showrooms, online trade fair directory, instructions, reminders, and how to download the Otop Philippines app.

The first three days of the expo are exclusively dedicated for buyers, while the last two days are open to the public for free.

The activity will open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for non-food products and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for food products. (JOB)


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