A DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) official underscored the necessity of expanding One Town One Product (Otop) hubs across the country to accommodate and facilitate a larger number of local entrepreneurs.
Blesila Lantayona, DTI undersecretary for the regional operations group (ROG), noted that every city should ideally host Otop hubs, although certain challenges currently exist in achieving this goal.
However, the situation could change significantly if President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos gives his approval to the Otop bill on August 25, as it would expedite government support for local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in establishing additional Otop hubs.
“Siguro kung ma-approve na ang Otop bill, kung mahimo na siyang batas, mas modako na ang suporta sa atong mga Otop hubs (If the Otop bill is approved and enacted into law, it is likely that the support for our Otop hubs will see significant growth),” Lantayona said at the sidelines of the third Otop hub launch in Ayala Malls Abreeza, August 8.
There are eight Otop hubs in the Davao Region, three of which are in Davao City.
It can be recalled that Senator Mark Villar, chair of the Senate Trade, commerce, and entrepreneurship committee, sponsored Senate Bill 1594, known as the Otop Act of 2022. The bill received unanimous approval, with 22 votes in favor, no negative votes, and no abstentions.
In addition to Senator Villar, other legislators, including Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Senators Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, Sherwin Gatchalian and Villar also contributed to the bill.
The bill seeks to institutionalize Otop as a program to foster inclusive economic growth by providing support to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the backbone of the nation's economy.
Although the government doesn't consistently provide this funding, Lantayona disclosed that sufficient funding is allocated for establishing Otop hubs.
IIf the Otop bill will be signed as law,] the government down to the LGU, synchronize na ang pag-implement so makita na nato ang support sa tanan (If the Otop bill is enacted into law, implementation will be synchronized from the national government down to the local government units, ensuring comprehensive support)," Lantayona said. (ICE)