December 6, 2022

To capacitate the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in achieving a larger marketability online, the Department of Trade and Industry kicked off this year’s One Town One Product (OTOP) National Virtual Trade Fair via the Zoom platform simulcast through the official Facebook pages of the OTOP Philippines and PLDT Home Biz on Aug. 2.  
DTI is certain that empowering the MSME sector through e-commerce and digitalization like the OTOP online fair will help the Philippine trade and industry bounce back from the economic downturn due to the prolonged Covid-19 crisis.  
“We believe that MSMEs will play an essential role in helping to rebuild the economy back better so we can help uplift the lives of people in the pandemic future,” said Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez.  
Developed under the OTOP Next Gen program, more than 380 MSMEs or OTOPreneurs on-boarded the official platform of the OTOP NVTF 2021 to showcase their marketable products online.  
Regional Operations Group Trade Usec. Blesila Lantayona encouraged the Filipino consumers to support locals by buying OTOP products from the online store at www.virtualtradeexpoph.com.
“Magagawa pa rin natin ibangon ang ekonomiya sa pamamagitan ng pagbili o pagtangkilik ng mga produktong gawa mismo ng ating mga maliliit na negosyo. Sa paraang ito, suportado pa rin natin ang mga MSMEs habang ligtas tayo mula sa banta ng virus o sakit na maaaring makuha sa labas ng tahanan,” Lantayona said.  
OTOP 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 that are rooted in its local culture, community resource, creativity, connection, and competitive advantage. It is a convergent initiative involving DTI and other government agencies and private sector.  
In response to the needs of MSME sector badly hit by the pandemic, OTOP has introduced its national virtual expo in partnership with PLDT Home Biz to give MSMEs a wider access to the digital marketplace.  
“We know the challenges that our local industries are facing during this pandemic is not easy. That is why the OTOP is here to back up our MSMEs or OTOPreneurs and serve as their marketing arm. We help in their product development to make the products more competitive and marketable. And we establish OTOP hubs or stores where our MSMEs can showcase their own OTOP Products for free. We also organized this virtual trade fair to help generate more sales for our MSMEs online on a free platform,” OTOP Program Manager Assistant Demphna Du-Naga added.  
Also present at the virtual launch to give their support to OTOP trade show were Honeylet Avanceña, Sen. Bong Go, OTOP bill author Rep. Argel Cabatbat, PLDT representatives Linette Garcia and Lianne Ong, DTI-ROG Asec. Aster Caberte and Dominic Tolentino, regional and provincial directors, among others.   
The five-day online fair continued with programs revolving with the MSME Week’s theme of “Resiliency, Recovery, and Rebuilding” with a “Concert para sa Recovery” featuring various celebrities capping of the virtual trade fair on Aug. 6.  
The OTOP National Virtual National Trade Fair was open to the public for free. – Press release