AS the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Cebu collaborates with startup company GeoPik, business addresses of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can now easily be located.

DTI is working with four Cebuanos who are presently based in Singapore to officially introduce GeoPik, an app that “will revolutionize” the postal system in the Philippines.

Francisco Liwa, Ivan Lacuesta, Rodessa Padrigano and John Ryan Loyloy utilize the digital address system using geohashing and geolocation technologies similar to those used by apps such as Waze or Google Maps.

GeoPik converts long addresses or the absence of house numbers, which is common in the Philippines, into more exact, customizable and single codes.

DTI Cebu’s partnership with GeoPik is the use of the latter’s algorithm to come up with a geographic information system (GIS) for the DTI for free. The government agency in return would provide content for them, said DTI Cebu Director Ma. Elena Arbon yesterday.

DTI will initially enroll 20 MSMEs from the different Negosyo Centers in the province per month into GeoPik’s system, with accompanying business profiles. Access to this information, though, will be kept private with the government agency initially.

“We are hoping that the GIS we are working with GeoPik will be considered by Google as verified information so we can put them (MSMEs) on their map and eventually share (the business location) publicly,” said Arbon.

She emphasized that this is meant to position MSMEs in the e-commerce economy, making them more visible and accessible to their potential customers.

Moreover, Arbon added this initiative will also promote Cebu’s image as an innovation island.

Google Philippines and the DTI are already in talks to verify businesses that register on Google My Business, a free platform that enables businesses to be found on Google Maps and to appear easily on the company’s search engine.

Loyloy, one of Cebuano GeoPik’s founders, said the postal code system is a problem in the Philippines, the reason Filipinos still add additional instructions for delivery firms to locate their houses and businesses properly.

The postal coding still addresses locations up to the city/municipality or barangay level only, which makes delivering of goods and services difficult to reach customers, Loyloy explained.

He said this innovation is beneficial to industries like logistics, e-commerce and location-dependent enterprises. (KOC)