Over a hundred Micro, small and medium entrepreneurs from the various provinces of the Cordillera had a rare encounter with industry experts tapped by the Department of Trade and Industry-CAR for a two-day individual cliniquing and assessment in Baguio City under the OTOP Next Gen Program. Considered a priority stimulus program for Micro and Small and Medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) that offers screening, assessment and triage (SAT), this type of government intervention is now being pushed and organized nationwide to drive inclusive local economic growth is now taking place in the regions.
DTI-CAR Regional Director Myrna Pablo, in her opening remarks implied that this is an expanded program that maximizes public-private collaboration that serves as an avenue for incubation, marketing and branding for the best of local MSME products.
Rolled out as DTI’s One-Town-One-Product Next Gen program with a goal to come up with new variations, and better products, several sessions were held during the training with experts giving their suggestions based on quality, design, standards compliance, marketability and production capability of the participants.
Among the session initiated under this program are; Product Development, Design Services and Intervention, Technology Updating, Capacity-Building, Brand Equity and Development,
Intellectual Property Assistance, Standards Development and Compliance, Access to Finance, Marketing Platforms and Promotions.
During the cliniquing sessions, Supervising Industrial Design Specialist Luis Manalang gave helpful tips on the production of gifts, housewares, packaging and graphics. An advertising graduate with Master in Business Administration of Philippine Women’s University, Manalang has handled product development program and regional trainings under the Bureau of Domestic Trade and Promotions.
Brian Tenorio, a Tehran-born Filipino-American design manager and communications specialist explained to the participating entrepreneurs the importance of design, quality of material and branding as among the many important things that local producers must consider in order to be competitive.
Ruby Aguas, and Achilles Castaneda of the Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion’s OTOP-GO LOKAL were also consulted by the Mentor Me training participants on homewares and fashionable
Rowe Requejo of the Bureau of Product Standards Technical Committee 41 focused on the product development of furniture and houseware. Participating entrepreneurs approached her for advice as a Senior Industrial Design Specialist. The cliniquing and assessment program concluded with a way-forward agreement with the participants with OTOP Next Gen Officer-in-Charge Dir. Emma Asusano expressing hope that good results will happen a a result of said activity. /Art Tibaldo#