Otop products soon in SM Malls

Otop products soon in SM Malls
SunStar Business

To support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) resilience and market reach, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and SM Prime Holdings Inc. inked a memorandum of agreement in promoting the One Town One Product (Otop) program, July 1, 2024.

Through this collaboration, SM Prime Holdings Inc. will provide dedicated spaces in 83 SM Supermalls across the country for MSMEs to showcase and sell their unique products.

Under this agreement, MSMEs will be able to lease booths in SM Supermalls at a discounted rate. They will also have access to training programs on topics such as product development, marketing and financial management.

In addition, SM Prime Holdings Inc. will provide mentorship opportunities to MSMEs, pairing them with experienced business leaders.

“This partnership between the DTI and SM Prime Holdings Inc. represents a significant step towards empowering MSMEs, especially Otopreneurs. Through various programs, we help them produce diverse and sophisticated products and services that can compete in the global market,” said Trade Chief Alfredo Pascual, in a statement.

Pascual said their goal is to foster and boost local industries by actively promoting and supporting enterprises to develop a solid domestic market base and expand into exports.

“The market is here being filled by imported goods. There is local demand, so our local enterprises should be able to rise up to the occasion and produce the goods that will compete with the important varieties. And eventually, with a base in the local market, our small enterprises will be able to tap the export market. We need to build a base in the domestic market and then go for export,” said Pascual, during his recent visit to Cebu.

In an interview on Tuesday, DTI 7 Director Ma. Elena Arbon said this is a new initiative of the agency’s MSME Development Group which the regional officials such as in Central Visayas will have to start working on.

DTI has set up 29 Otop stores in the Visayas Region helping 840 MSMEs that generate an estimate P27 million in sales. Of the total, Central Visayas has seven stores of which two are in Cebu.

Business continuity plan

Besides dedicated Otop spaces in SM malls, the two parties also inked a memorandum of understanding to equip MSMEs with disaster preparedness knowledge and tools.

This collaboration, according to the DTI will leverage the expertise and resources of both the DTI and SM Prime Holdings Inc. to equip MSMEs with a business continuity plan (BCP) and provide training on disaster preparedness strategies.

This initiative is also in partnership with Arise-Philippines, the local network of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies.

The DTI and SM Prime Holdings Inc. target to train 6,000 MSMEs nationwide on BCPs from 2024 to 2027, fostering a culture of preparedness and resilience across the country.

“The Philippines’ vulnerability to natural disasters necessitates a proactive approach to disaster risk reduction and resilience, particularly for MSMEs that play a crucial role in the nation’s economy,” the DTI said.

“We are building a more robust and more resilient business landscape by equipping MSMEs with disaster preparedness knowledge and tools,” Pascual said.

SM Prime Holdings Inc. is one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia.

The company is involved in the development and management of malls, residences, offices, hotels, and convention centers. / KOC

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