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February 14, 2008

PHILIPPINES/TRADE PROMOTION
Trade dept earmarks $2.4mn to promote for Otop programme

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has earmarked P100 million (US$2.4 million) to build up promotions of goods and services under the One Town One Product (Otop) program.

DTI 7 Director Asteria Caberte said the government intends to strengthen tourism and trade in the country, which is why the P100 million will be used for the development of several promotional programs to maximize potentials of Otop products and services.

Otop is a priority project of President Arroyos administration to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs. The programs implementation is to be led by local government units with DTI as marketing arm.

Caberte, who heads the Otop marketing campaign nationwide, said Central Visayas is regarded as the lead implementer of the program. She said there are already successful Otop industries in Visayas, and strategies of their success will be replicated in different towns across the Philippines.

Otop is something that captures the culture and heritage of a particular town. Abundance of raw materials in the place is very important and majority of the town residents must be able to partake in the business, Caberte stressed.

At present, DTI is developing a group of Otop participants including Central, Eastern and Western Visayas regions that have huge growth potentials in the national and international markets.

Earlier, Caberte cited Inabanga, Bohol as having the most successful Otop in the Visayas. She said Inabangas raffia loom weaving is starting to gain interest from the international market.

In Cebu, places whose Otop products are ready for marketing are Carcar with its footwear industry, Liloan with its rosquillos, Talisay City with its lechon and Carmen with its sinamay handicraft. Carcars shoes are considered the provincial Otop product.

Cebu City, on the other hand, has identified information technology (IT) for Otop promotion. Mandaue City has included export quality processed foods for the program while Lapu-Lapu City identified guitar making.


Courtesy PNA

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