April 17, 2024

Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Baguio-Benguet area have now a place to display and sell their products with the opening of the One Town One Product (OTOP) Hub inside the Porta Vaga Mall along Session Road, Baguio City.

The OTOP Hub opened on Sept. 1 with DTI Regional Operations Group Usec. Blesila Lantayona, officials from the local government units of Baguio City and Benguet, regional agencies, and partner MSMEs.

A collaborative effort of Department of Trade and Industry through its Baguio-Benguet Provincial Office, Porta Vaga Mall management and other partner government agencies, the OTOP Hub OTOP Hub features food, weaves, arts and crafts, and other products of 75 MSMEs from Baguio City and Benguet.

It is operated by Layad ti Cordillera, a Securities and Exchange Commission-registered corporation of MSMEs.

Lantayona lauded DTI-Cordillera, DTI Baguio-Benguet, and other partners and stakeholders for the realization of the project, as the OTOP Hub will really play a big role in helping MSMEs recover from the pandemic and move forward towards the new normal.

She assured the continuing support of DTI and its partner agencies and private institutions in terms of improving productivity and bringing in new and highly competitive products for the regional, national, and international market.

“It is Sec. Alfredo Pascual’s first strategic priority to upskill, upgrade, and upsize our MSMEs through digitalization, science, technology, and innovations,” she said.

DTI Baguio-Benguet Director Samuel Gallardo said the OTOP program is a priority stimulus program for MSMEs, as the government’s customized intervention to drive inclusive local economic growth that is continuously being implemented to help MSMEs, especially in this time of Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the DTI Baguio-Benguet the OTOP program already assisted 234 MSMEs from the process food sector and 119 MSMEs from the non-food sector. Of the 343 MSMEs DTI assisted, 247 were assisted for registration at the Intellectual Property Right Office and assisted in the facilitation of registration of their products and issuance of certificates to operate from the Food and Drug Administration since 2017, Gallardo said.

“OTOP Next Gen offers a comprehensive assistance package through a convergence of services from LGUs, non government agencies and the private sector, which services include: product development; design services; technology upgrade; capacity building; brand equity and development; Intellectual Property Office assistance; standards development and compliance; access to finance and marketing platforms; and promotions,” he said. – Carlito C. Dar