29 ‘Otopreneurs’ join 5-day trade fair

AROUND 29 exhibitors from the different cities and municipalities of Cebu brought their export-quality products closer to the market through showcasing them at the Cebu One Town-One Product (Otop) Fair in Ayala Center Cebu.

The five-day fair, which kicked off Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, was the Department of Trade and Industry-Cebu Provincial Office’s (DTI-Cebu) way of helping micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) return to the mainstream market after the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted their businesses and regain the pre-pandemic commercial vibrance.

“By coming up with relevant and purposeful interventions, the agency aims to ease up the effects of the pandemic and pave the way for recovery and gradual progress of MSMEs,” the agency said.

DTI 7 Director Ma. Elena Arbon said they want to re-empower the MSMEs, especially since the sector has an important role to play in the country’s economic recovery.

“Our MSMEs are producing quality products and they deserve our attention and support,” she said.

Arbon encouraged shoppers to explore the 24 booths at the trade fair and include their produce in the basket of products that they shop.

“Good products and services are nothing without buyers or customers. By providing MSMEs with opportunities to promote and sell their products, we help them reach out to their target markets, expand their customer base, and increase their profitability,” the DTI said.

The Cebu Otop Fair which runs until Nov. 28 at the Ayala Center Cebu, Rotunda 1 and 2, showcases products that are proudly made in Cebu.

The exhibit features premium quality, innovative and competitive products from the processed food, homestyle and wearables sectors.

Otop Philippines is a priority stimulus program for MSMEs as government’s customized intervention to drive inclusive economic growth.

The program enables localities and communities to determine, develop, support and promote products or services that are rooted in its local culture, community resource, creativity, connection and competitive advantage.

Otop is an international program that originated from Japan’s One Village, One Product. This program has been in the Philippines since 2002.