Around 30 exhibitors joined this year’s “Tiendas Sa Isla” Trade and Tourism Fair that ended last Tuesday, May 10, 2022, with some of them among the 25 granted free packaging materials and barcodes by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Launched last year by DTI Catanduanes provincial office with unqualified success, the Tiendas at the Virac Town Center that was opened May 4, 2022 begins a new series of trade and tourism fairs intended to promote local products proudly made in the island province.
For this year’s summer edition, a wide array of choices from processed food, wearables & homestyle, housewares, fresh produce, healthy picks, furniture, accessories, apparel, and ornamentals were made available at the VTC 2nd Floor and the roadside from 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM.
During the opening of the fair, one of the highlights was the awarding of upgraded packaging materials to DTI-assisted MSME clients: Alimer’s Food Products, Mamita’s Homemade Food Products, Dove’s Delicacies, Nild’s Special Pilinut Candy, Nelia’s Food Products, Carol’s Food Products, Impling’s Native Delicacies, Belen’s Pinahamis na Pili and Catanduanes OTOP Hub.
On the other hand, 17 MSMEs were also awarded with 50 barcodes per company under the One-Town-One-Product (OTOP) program of DTI: Belen’s Pinahamis na Pili, Nelia’s Food Products, Benedict’s Food Products, Nild’s Special Delicacies, Island Food Products, Alimer’s Food Products, Dove Delicacies, Triple H Sweets, Nicole’s Cassava Chips, Lanz Cassava Chips, Carol’s Food Products, Tesorero Food Products, Mamita’s Homemade Food Products, Impling’s Special Delicacies, Sarilikha Foods Manufacturing, and Easytimes Enterprises.
During the trade fair, the DTI provincial office also offered on-site services such as P3 Online Application, IPO Application, Consultancy on FDA LTO Application and Business Name Online Application.
In her keynote address, Assistant Secretary Demphna Du-Naga of the DTI Regional Operations Group said that the department has been consistent in its efforts to counter the effects of the pandemic on the economy, especially MSMEs and cited the provincial office’s determination in moving forward despite the challenges.
In assuring support for MSMEs, development and promotion of local products, she urged them to continue to be creative and to share what they can offer as MSMEs.
For his part, DTI Regional Director Rodrigo Aguilar said technical and financial assistance is available for small entrepreneurs, especially with the likelihood of physical conduct of trade fairs now possible.
On the other hand, DTI Catanduanes provincial director Ma. Belma Escueta encouraged Tienda participants to religiously attend webinars on online marketing as her office has been told to prepare MSME exhibitors for the global economy.
She advised them to put up their separate, individual web pages and to be responsible as online sellers by complying with Joint Administrative Order No. 2022-01, which, among others, directs online sellers to put prices on the products they offer in their sites.
“We need to expand our horizon, join trade fairs and consumer advocacy seminars,” PD Escueta stated as she underscored the dream of DTI Catanduanes to have a direct exporter from the province whose products will be available nationwide in physical stores such as malls and airports.
In his closing remarks, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Catanduanes chapter president Frank Boñales advised his fellow entrepreneurs to practice self-discipline and to hold themselves responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of them.