October 3, 2023

Maintain the presence of the micro entrepreneurs in Baguio City at the center that was put up for them.

Members of the city council made this suggestion to the tripartite committee that is currently drafting the terms of reference (TOR) for the lease, management, and operation of the Cordillera Crafts and Productivity Center (CCPC) or the One Town, One Product hub at Upper Session Road.

The committee composed of the city government, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Association of Barangay Councils is being asked to continue accommodating livelihood groups in the city at the productivity hub even if the direction now is to award the area to a single lessee.

Councilors Betty Lourdes Tabanda and Arthur Allad-iw said the original intention of the productivity center, including the accommodation of micro entrepreneurs from the barangays, should not be disregarded in the TOR and eventual signing of the contract for the new lessee in the area.

Tabanda took exception to a provision of the new TOR that supposedly will no longer allow the barangays to use the second floor of the center as a display area for products developed by livelihood groups from the city’s barangays.

The TOR was presented to the council during its regular session for review and to gather suggestions from the councilors as the contract of the current lessee has since lapsed.

DTI-Cordillera Assistant Director Samuel Gallardo said a new contract of lease for the operation and management of the CCPC is yet to be drawn as the TOR is not yet final.

He said the suggestions of members of the city council will be considered in the finalization of the TOR.

The CCPC was put up to showcase the products of micro entrepreneurs in Baguio and the Cordillera.

Councilor Michael Lawana explained the barangays have agreed to forego of the CCPC’s second floor, considering that livelihood groups from the barangays have not been making sales from showcasing their products in the area due to its location, among other factors.

The pandemic made the condition worse when the center was not operating. “This is why we agreed that aside from the first floor, we might as well allow the use of the second floor by the lessee for them to maximize the area,” he said.

Follow ing the other councilors’ comments, Lawana agreed the new TOR or the contract to be signed should still include a provision that would accommodate micro entrepreneurs and the barangays to use on consignment basis a portion of the CCPC. – Jane B. Cadalig