DTI extends P200M aid for MSMEs via Otop, other projects

SEEING the need to uplift the livelihood of micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in the regions, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has allotted a budget of P200 million.

Demphna Du-Naga, DTI’s Assistant Secretary for the Regional Operations Group, said they are targeting to tap the regional ecosystem of MSMEs to implement some of DTI’s projects.

“We now have the budget to fund more One Town One Product (Otop) programs as well as other priority projects aimed towards MSME development in the region,” Du-Naga said, during the launching of the first Otop Philippine Hub in Cebu Province located inside the terminal of Pier 1 in Cebu City.

“Last year, our products already reached international markets like Germany and Paris. And we saw the potential of the Otop when our sales surpassed the target,” she said.

Du-Naga said their target when they joined an international fair in Cologne, Germany was US$6 million.

“When we went home, the sales were at $8.9 million,” she said, noting that organic food items were a hit during the international fair. “Organic food are really big in other countries since they are shifting to a lifestyle of healthy living,” she added.

She said Filipinos excel in discovering innovative products and the only thing that they need is a little push.

“There is a need for training and implementation in the business. We then guide them to find the right market,” the DTI official said.

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

The program enables localities and communities to determine, develop, support and promote products or services rooted in their local culture and competitive advantage. (JOB)